SCM scholars refer frequently to the work of Oliver E. Willamson on transaction cost economics (for example this one in SCM:AIJ).
The latest issue of Journal of Supply Chain Ma Management (2008, Vol. 44, Number 2) contains an interesting surprise: Outsourcing: Transaction Cost Economics and Supply Chain Management by Oliver E. Williamson.
This paper, that can be downloaded via the link provided here, is interesting for several reasons. First, it is (hopefully) a startingpoint of dialogue between SCM and economics. Many SCM scholars have been using the terminology of TCE for several years, but they are now getting a response. Second, my concern is that the list of references does not necessarily reflect upon this application but builds on selected references to the SCM literature. Third, and perhaps most importantly, Williamson finishes his paper by suggesting nine “TCE Queries for SCM”. You can find theme here by scrolling down this html format of the paper. These suggestions, or questions, are much needed, and will hopefully be discussed in the near future. A lack of interest or ability to do so may leave an impression that is not in favour of further development of SCM?
However, there is no reason to be pessimistic, here is the first of nine questions raised by Williamson:
(1) TCE subscribes to pragmatic methodology. What is the methodology of SCM?
Now, the floor is yours! It would be interesting to discuss this and the other eight suggestions.