Changing Firm Boundaries in a New Information and Communication Environment: Evidence from the Manufacturing and Music Industry

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The nature of the firm has changed since Coase (1937) and the birth of the theory of the firm. An important change is the advent of modern information and communication technology (ICT) that altered the business environment. The objective of the dissertation is to study the transformation of corporate organization by analyzing the impact of a changing information and communication environment on firm boundaries. This study analyzes firm boundaries in the manufacturing and the media sector. These two sectors are selected to illustrate important differences in the change of firm boundaries. Although both showed an impact of ICT, the direction of this change has been different because of contrary product characteristics. The reason is that ICT in the manufacturing sector mainly leads to communication and coordination improvements, while it induces problems to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the media sector.