This article seeks to establish connections between governance structures, norms, and relationship types in architectural firm-client relationships. Due to the complex, intangible, knowledge intensive, and artistic nature of these professional services, both individual architectural project orders and relationships to clients are achieved by making credible promises (Løwendahl, 2000). This, in turn, requires profound understanding of existing norms and norms dynamics in architectural fields. An analytical framework of possible governance structures, possible relationship types, and norms is built on the basis of IMP Group and institutional theory. Thereafter Danish architectural firms' activities on the German market are analyzed using the framework. The analysis suggests that there are interconnections between norms and relationship types; furthermore firms' position in the field and economic conditions influence interfirm governance. Finally eight general hypothesis concerning the relationship between governance structures, norms, and relationship types in the professional services are presented on the basis of the analysis and related to existing theoretical contributions.
Liiketaloudellinen Aikakauskirja, 2001, Vol 50, Issue 3, p. 346-370
Governance structures; Norms; Relationship types; Internationalization; Field; Power; Social construction; Architectural services; Professional services