Transaction-Specific Investment and Organizational Performance: A Meta-Analysis

Leinan Zhang (First Author), Qingyan Zeng (Participant Author), Silin Zhang (Participant Author), Shuqin Li (Participant Author), Liang Wang (Participant Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


    Transaction-specific investment and organizational performance are two core concepts in studies of transactions between firms. The existing literature has explored the effect of transaction-specific investment on organizational performance from three different theoretical perspectives: transaction cost economics (TCE), the resource-based view (RBV), and social exchange theory (SET). However, considerable ambiguities and inconsistencies exist among the hypotheses and relevant empirical study results, which have brought confusion to academic research and practice. This study adopted a meta-analysis method to conduct a quantitative review of 58 existing empirical studies, and obtained a total sample size of 16,092. These results suggest more TSIs in buyer-seller relationships, which can improve both economic and social performance, especially regarding technological performance and relationship performance. Moreover, tangible TSIs are more efficient, although they are considered vulnerable to opportunistic behavior in previous research, and contextual factors are also considered as moderators. These findings enrich the existing inter-firm relationship literature and provide clear suggestions for companies' TSI decisions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - May 2022

    Corresponding author email

    Project sponsor

    Social Science Program of Beijing
    Huiyuan Excellent Young Scholars Program of University of international business and Economics
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
    Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities in UIBE

    Project No.



    • transaction-specific investment
    • organizational performance
    • meta-analysis

    Indexed by

    • SCIE


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