We integrate the governance and measurement branches in transaction cost economics to highlight how differences in performance measurement choices influence the governance of strategic assets, thereby affecting transaction costs. We develop our theory in the context of corporate governance in firms. Financiers of debt and equity employ market and hierarchical governance to safeguard generic and specific assets, respectively. Financial reporting choices constitute credible commitments to generate performance reports that are used by financiers in exercising governance. We explain why conservatism (more timely information about potential losses) bolsters the market governance of debt to reduce transaction costs for generic assets, while smoothing (informative reports about future earnings) strengthens the hierarchical governance of equity to reduce transaction costs for specific assets. We outline a research agenda incorporating the implications of performance measurement from financial reporting choices for the governance of strategic investments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation