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Abstract

This paper examines formalized contracts between outsourcing logistics providers and companies in the perishable food industry by evaluating relationships with specificity and uncertainty. A sample of 55 outsourcing agreements were analyzed and found that exchanges are characterized by positive transaction costs arising from contractual problems such as investments in specific assets and information asymmetries. There are several types of specificity and the impact varies depending upon the company. Contractual agreements which are designed to address each type of specificity can provide firms a safeguard mechanism.

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