Transaction Cost Analysis in Marketing: Looking Back, Moving Forward

George John, Torger Reve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Contributions to the theory and application of the Williamson's transaction cost framework by scholars in Marketing are reviewed. From its initial appearance in the late 1970s, the Williamsonian approach has moved from a theoretical curiosity to the workhorse model in one subfield of marketing; viz. channels. Possible reasons for this success are traced here. The consistent empirical support for the core model, its applicability to a broad range of managerially relevant problems, its successes in horse races against competing theories, and its co-existence with complementary theories are unpacked. The paper closes with speculation about future trends about transaction cost analysis in marketing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Adaptation
  • Incentives
  • Safeguard


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