Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Operations and Supply Chain Management


Lazaridis School of Business and Economics

First Advisor

Hamid Noori

Advisor Role

Thesis Advisor

Second Advisor

Kevin Hendricks

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee

Third Advisor

Ignacio Castillo

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee


This thesis seeks to describe the Transient Collaboration Model as a business model, its underlying theoretical principles, its empirical evidence, and its types of possible collaboration structures. The research seeks to determine how companies may build sustained competitive advantages through the structural design of their collaboration associations as a strategic option. Companies' ability to retain long-term competitive advantages is limited in more unpredictable environments. Companies could not afford to internally build and hold all the possible varieties and quantities of resources and capabilities to build future competitive advantages. Collaboration can provide companies with access to multiple partners with diverse resources and capabilities. The full potential of companies to configure collaborations to match resources and capabilities to requirements is achievable through the goal-based transient collaboration model. The thesis extends Structural Contingency Theory to the network-level to study inter-organizational structures and contingencies. It develops novel propositions to explain the links between these structures and contingencies with focus on innovation research networks. Through a case study, the thesis verifies or partially verifies four of these theoretical principles by comparing these with the transient collaboration practices of companies in the field. Next, the thesis creates and analyses simulations of transient collaborations to provide understanding of how collaboration structures affect both company and network-level performances. The contribution of the thesis is to extend the academic literature with the theoretical principles of transient collaborative associations, to acquire empirical evidence for such collaborations, to improve understanding of collaboration structures formations, and to lay the foundation for additional research undertakings in the area. This thesis uses the term "transient collaboration meta-organization" as a specific reference to a group of companies engaged in transient collaborations with one another, and the term "network" as a more general reference to collections, associations or congregations of companies.


Additional Contributors:

William Morrison - Thesis Committee

Clay Whybark - External Examiner

Convocation Year


Convocation Season