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When and When Not to Vertically Integrate

Vertical integration is a risky strategy -- complex, expensive, and hard to reverse. Yet some companies jump into it without an adequate analysis of the risks. The authors have developed a framework to help managers decide when it's useful to vertically integrate and when it's not. They examine four common reasons to integrate and warn managers against a number of other, spurious reasons. Their primary advice: don't vertically integrate unless it is absolutely necessary to create or protect value.

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