Economic theory considers physical production characteristics and related property rights as key determinants of the organization of an industry. Yet, we frequently observe coexisting governance modes within industries and firms, even when the transaction attributes of a commodity are homogenous. We test whether risk and time preferences, price expectations, and trust in supply chain types can explain variations and coexistence in governance. Specifically, we experimentally elicit economic preferences of forest managers in the Swiss wood sector. We find that all behavioral dimensions are related to the choice of sales channel. Most importantly, trust and expectations are key determinants in transferring property rights, while risk aversion, patience, and ownership structure explain the existence of plural forms at the firm level.