This work examined the existence of plural forms in the transaction between slaughterhouses and beef cattle farmers, analyzing the determinants of companies’ choice of governance structures. Three slaughterhouses were studied, using the literature of plural forms of governance as theoretical framework. It was found that only one of the slaughterhouses adopts plural forms to coordinate their beef cattle purchase transactions, and the other two companies obtained all of their live cattle supply through spot market trades. The determinants of plural forms adoption were aligned with the theoretical model. Ambiguity, complexity and strategic behavior variables determine the choice of the governance structure. For the other two companies, we noted little or no ambiguity and complexity in the transactions, and the absence of strategic motivations for the use of plural forms. Principal advantages of this strategy of coordination were: (i) reduction of information asymmetry; (ii) advantages of scale and greater bargaining power in the spot market; (iii) flexibility to supply different distribution channels and (iv) cross-learning effects.


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