Collocation for Supplier–Client Knowledge-Based Coordination: Niche Positioning, Task Complexity, and Comparative Costs

  • Douglas J. MillerEmail author
  • Carmen Weigelt
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


We examine how clients and suppliers govern vertical relationships for knowledge work. Collocation—having supplier personnel interact with the client’s personnel and systems at the client’s site—is a contractual mechanism that facilitates coordination for knowledge co-creation. Using a sample of 1609 credit unions’ relationships with 50 IT suppliers during the rise of Internet-based banking from 2000 to 2004, we examine the initial development of arrangements for online share account and loan processing. Results show that client positioning and task complexity partially determined the choice of collocation vis-a-vis a supplier delivering standard services from a remote location. However, as broadband communications reduced the costs of remote service, clients moved away from collocation.


Collocation Knowledge work Task complexity Services Suppliers 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers Business School-Newark and New BrunswickPiscatawayUSA
  2. 2.A.B. Freeman School of BusinessTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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