Relational Rent and Underperformance of Hub Firms in the Aeronautics Value Chain
The present paper shows that in response to deep-seated changes in the aeronautics sector, tier-one hub firms now feature in the supply chain in the role of architect-integrators for key components. According to the Relational-Based approach, this pivotal position should enable them to achieve supernormal performance. Our statistical analysis, performed between the years 2000 and 2007 with sub-contracting firms in the aeronautics sector in the Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees regions, allowed us to identify the impact of this status on their main organisational features. Our conclusions suggest that, on the contrary, hub firms are under-performing. Our econometric analysis confirms the argument that hub firms are experiencing a financial performance which is both less robust and less persistent than the other firms in our sample population. In order to explain these findings which contradict the hypothesis of the development of a relational rent in the aeronautics industry, we investigated the most recent contingent factors. The architect-integrators’ ability to harness this relational rent, the duration of the investment cycle and family-based capitalism all help to explain the under-performance of hub firms attached to this industry.
Copyright (c) 2014 Mathieu Bécue, Jean Belin, Damien Talbot
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