Degree of vertical integration and its buffering effects on political uncertainty

  • Nilawan Ouraiprywan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The focus of this study is on the governance decisions in a concurrent channels context, in the case of uncertainty. The study examines how a firm chooses to deploy its sales force in times of uncertainty, and the subsequent performance outcome of those deployment choices. The theoretical framework is based on multiple theories of governance, including transaction cost analysis (TCA), agency theory, and institutional economics.
Three uncertainty variables are investigated in this study. The first two are demand and competitive uncertainty which are considered to be industry-level market uncertainty forms. The third uncertainty, political uncertainty, is chosen as it is an important dimension of institutional environments, capturing non-economic circumstances such as regulations and political systemic issues.
The study employs longitudinal secondary data from a Thai hotel chain, comprising monthly observations from January 2007 – December 2012. This hotel chain has its operations in 4 countries, Thailand, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates – Dubai, and Egypt, all of which experienced substantial demand, competitive, and political uncertainty during the study period. This makes them ideal contexts for this study. Two econometric models, both deploying Newey-West estimations, are employed to test 13 hypotheses. The first model considers the relationship between uncertainty and governance. The second model is a version of Newey-West, using an Instrumental Variables (IV) estimator and a Two-Stage Least Squares model (2SLS), to test the direct effect of uncertainty on performance and the moderating effect of governance on the relationship between uncertainty and performance.
The observed relationship between uncertainty and governance observed follows a core prediction of TCA; that vertical integration is the preferred choice of governance when uncertainty rises. As for the subsequent performance outcomes, the results corroborate that uncertainty has a negative effect on performance. Importantly, the findings show that becoming more vertically integrated cannot help moderate the effect of demand and competitive uncertainty, but can significantly moderate the effect of political uncertainty. These findings have significant theoretical and practical implications, and extend our knowledge of the impact on uncertainty significantly, as well as bringing an institutional perspective to TCA. Further, they offer managers novel insight into the nature of different types of uncertainty, their impact on performance, and how channel decisions can mitigate these impacts.
Date of Award2 Oct 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aston University
SupervisorErik A Mooi (Supervisor), Nicholas J Lee (Supervisor) & David I Gilliland (Supervisor)


  • concurrent channels
  • transaction cost
  • political uncertainty
  • secondary data
  • institutional environment

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