Although the existing literature has shown that the choice of governance structure plays a key role in inter-organizational performance, the nature of construct measurability still remains equivocal. The diversity of terminologies used means that the full potential of most studies may be lost in the confusion of indistinctive and misapplied terms. To better understand the relationship between governance structures and performance, a descriptive systematic review was conducted on the extant literature; essentially, to provide a comprehensive point of reference for researchers interested in this research area and to identify future research gaps. A simple analytical framework—Search, Appraisal, and Synthesis—was used to extract data. A total of 110 peer-reviewed journal articles were identified and analyzed. The results indicated that different governance structures are positively related to performance except for the spot market. The findings provide strong evidence that under certain circumstances, the contractual governance structure is negatively related to performance. Whereas in other circumstances, there is a positive interaction. Furthermore, the results revealed that numerous proxy indicators have been used to measure governance structures and performance. Overall, this study provides new insights on the relationship between governance structures and performance in the agrifood sector and beyond. The contribution of the study, implications, and suggestions for future research outlook are discussed in relation to governance structures and performance.
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