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Book part

Breda Kenny and John Fahy

The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of…

Abstract

The study this chapter reports focuses on how network theory contributes to the understanding of the internationalization process of SMEs and measures the effect of network capability on performance in international trade and has three research objectives.

The first objective of the study relates to providing new insights into the international market development activities through the application of a network perspective. The chapter reviews the international business literature to ascertain the development of thought, the research gaps, and the shortcomings. This review shows that the network perspective is a useful and popular theoretical domain that researchers can use to understand international activities, particularly of small, high technology, resource-constrained firms.

The second research objective is to gain a deeper understanding of network capability. This chapter presents a model for the impact of network capability on international performance by building on the emerging literature on the dynamic capabilities view of the firm. The model conceptualizes network capability in terms of network characteristics, network operation, and network resources. Network characteristics comprise strong and weak ties (operationalized as foreign-market entry modes), relational capability, and the level of trust between partners. Network operation focuses on network initiation, network coordination, and network learning capabilities. Network resources comprise network human-capital resources, synergy-sensitive resources (resource combinations within the network), and information sharing within the network.

The third research objective is to determine the impact of networking capability on the international performance of SMEs. The study analyzes 11 hypotheses through structural equations modeling using LISREL. The hypotheses relate to strong and weak ties, the relative strength of strong ties over weak ties, and each of the eight remaining constructs of networking capability in the study. The research conducts a cross-sectional study by using a sample of SMEs drawn from the telecommunications industry in Ireland.

The study supports the hypothesis that strong ties are more influential on international performance than weak ties. Similarly, network coordination and human-capital resources have a positive and significant association with international performance. Strong ties, weak ties, trust, network initiation, synergy-sensitive resources, relational capability, network learning, and information sharing do not have a significant association with international performance. The results of this study are strong (R2=0.63 for performance as the outcome) and provide a number of interesting insights into the relations between collaboration or networking capability and performance.

This study provides managers and policy makers with an improved understanding of the contingent effects of networks to highlight situations where networks might have limited, zero, or even negative effects on business outcomes. The study cautions against the tendency to interpret networks as universally beneficial to business development and performance outcomes.

Details

Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-024-7

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Article

Yakubu Salisu and Lily Julienti Abu Bakar

The purpose of this paper is to empirically evaluate the mediating role of learning capability on the relationship between technological capability, relational capability

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically evaluate the mediating role of learning capability on the relationship between technological capability, relational capability and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) performance in developing economy of Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative survey design was employed to collect the data from owner/manager of manufacturing SMEs in Nigeria. Partial least square structural equation model was used in the evaluation of both the measurement and structural models to determine the reliability and validity of the measurement and test the hypotheses, respectively.

Findings

The statistical result indicates a positive relationship between technological capability, learning capability and SMEs performance. Equally, relational capability significantly and positively relates to SMEs learning capability. However, relational capability negatively relates to SMEs performance, while technological capability also negatively relates to learning capability. Furthermore, learning capability mediates the negative relationship of relational capability and SMEs performance to significant positive relationship, while it does not mediate the relationship of technological capability and performance.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis of this study is restricted to only resource-based view and dynamic capability theory. Data of the study were collected once a time on a self-reported technique. The study contributed significantly to the body literature on technological and relational capabilities and performance. It also demonstrated the need for SMEs manager to recognize and appreciate the roles of these strategic capabilities in achieving sustainable competitive position.

Practical implications

Through relational capability SMEs develops efficient collaborative relationship to acquire new techniques, knowledge. This is specifically, essential for SMEs firms from less developing and emerging economies as they are lagging behind at the global competitive platform, and that the possession of specific advantage locally may not be adequately enough to help penetrate the global markets. Similarly, technological capability enable firms to identify acquire and apply new external knowledge to develop operational competencies which may lead to the attainment of superior performance.

Social implications

Government policies and programs designed to support technological development and innovation must be adjusted to consider the peculiar nature of SMEs firms in terms of technology and innovativeness that enhances competitive position and performance.

Originality/value

This study empirically examined the relationship of technological and relational capabilities and the SMEs learning capability and performance.

Details

Revista de Gestão, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2177-8736

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Article

Manuel Rodríguez‐Díaz and Tomás F. Espino‐Rodríguez

The purpose of this research is to show that relational capabilities is a topic of interest for the competitiveness of hotel companies. This paper aims to present a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to show that relational capabilities is a topic of interest for the competitiveness of hotel companies. This paper aims to present a methodology based on the analysis of processes in order to create and strengthen relational capabilities and proposes a model with three dimensions that jointly analyzes this phenomenon in relation to the outsourcing of activities and the collateral relationships maintained between different hotels.

Design/methodology/approach

Creates a methodology to rethink the relationships between the hotel company, its suppliers and other hotels in the same tourist destination. The creation of relational capabilities necessarily requires the hotel to study and analyze the following stages: internal analysis of resources and capabilities; relational analysis of activities; and process integration. A model is also proposed to analyze this question.

Findings

The development of relational capabilities in outsourcing is based on the level of competence of the service companies and on the strategic contribution of the activities, with four cases analyzed: high competence and low strategic contribution; low competence and high strategic contribution; low competence and low strategic value; and relational and internal capabilities. The joint analysis of the outsourcing relationships and collateral relationships among hotels adds a third dimension of process integration, with four possibilities: non‐core activities and low collateral processes integration; core activities and low collateral processes integration; non‐core activities and high collateral process integration; and core activities and high collateral processes integration.

Practical implications

A short self‐assessment questionnaire is developed that may help hotels to implement the methodology, as well as to create the basis for the empirical application by researchers in hospitality management.

Originality/value

The paper studies the possibilities of developing relational capabilities in the sector. It also determines the process to be followed in order to develop relational capabilities in the outsourcing of activities and in collateral relationships between hotels.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article

Yongyi Shou, Jinan Shao and Anlan Chen

Drawing upon the theory of the resource-based view, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among relational resources, innovation capability and firm…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the theory of the resource-based view, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships among relational resources, innovation capability and firm performance in the third-party logistics (3PL) industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on data collected from 203 3PL providers in China, this study adopts the approach of structural equation modeling to examine the hypothesized relationships among relational resources, innovation capability and firm performance.

Findings

The results of this research confirm that relational resources have a positive effect on firm performance. However, the effect is not direct, but realized through the mediation of innovation capability. This study indicates that relational resources are important for 3PL providers to achieve superior performance, and innovation capability plays a mediating role between relational resources and firm performance.

Originality/value

The main contributions of this paper to the literature are twofold. First, it extends the extant research by highlighting the mediating mechanism of innovation capability in relational resources’ influence on firm performance. Second, it advances the existing perspectives on 3PL firms in the Chinese context and this sheds light on logistics research on emerging markets.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 47 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article

Nuryakin and Elia Ardyan

This study aims to examine an empirical evidence of the relationship between relational capital, network competence and market entry capabilities on marketing performance…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine an empirical evidence of the relationship between relational capital, network competence and market entry capabilities on marketing performance in small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs’) furniture export orientation in Central Java, Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a quantitative research approach to investigate the relationship between relational capital, network competence, market entry capabilities and marketing performance. To achieve the research objectives, data were collected from managers or owners of furniture export orientation in Central Java, Indonesia. Using structural equation modeling, and after a series of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyzed, the authors tested an integrated model of the relationship between relational capital, network competence, market entry capabilities and marketing performance.

Findings

The result of this study indicates that relational capital has a positive significant effect on marketing performance. Relational capital has an insignificant effect on market entry capabilities. Network competence has a positive effect on market entry capabilities. Market entry capabilities have a positive effect on marketing performance. Other results also show that market entry capabilities can mediate the influence of network competence and marketing performance.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this research indicates that respondents in this research are very varied, if it is seen from their background into furniture business development, whereas many respondents do not have enough understanding of the questionnaire distributed. This research is only developed at the SMEs’ furniture area, so it cannot be generalized at the other organizational area. The influencing of relational capital result in market entry capability has not suitable with theory built. It is because inaccurate dimension market entry capability has been applied in this research. For future research, it is suggested to look for alternative dimension of market entry capability.

Practical implications

Based on the analysis results and discussion, it can be formulated that managerial implication explains the following steps: first, a company should focus on long-period relationship development. Focus on long-period relationship development will increase customer loyalty and company performance. Moreover, the customer has long-term relationship with organization, although instability condition because of the belief in long-period relationship and strong commitment to each other. The evidence from this study suggests that’s the organization needs to develop the long-term relationship with customer. Second, networking competency is important in market entry capability. Relationship can change anytime; therefore, the company has to have a strong competency of network developing. This competency helps company to enhance strong relationship. The strong network relationship helps company face easier ways in market entry capability.

Originality/value

The results of this research indicate that the role played by relational capital to increase market entry capability is not as good as the role played by network capability on market entry capability. In the international market context, the role of resource-based view is better than that of transaction cost economy in influencing market entry capability. Other results also show that market entry capabilities can mediate the influence of network competence and marketing performance.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Article

Manuel Rodríguez‐Díaz and Tomás F. Espino‐Rodríguez

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the competitive advantages of the networks of firms forming the supply chain and distribution channels through process integration…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the competitive advantages of the networks of firms forming the supply chain and distribution channels through process integration, outsourcing, and creation of relational capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

A four‐stage methodology is created to redesign the supply chain depending on the creation of relational capabilities: internal analysis to determine the focal company's competence; relational analysis in the outsourcing of activities; process integration; and development of relational capabilities.

Findings

The development of relational capabilities is based on two dimensions: company level of competence in performing activities, and strategic contribution of the activities to competitive advantage. Four cases are analyzed from those two dimensions: high competence/low strategic contribution; low competence/high strategic contribution; low competence/low strategic value; and relational and internal capabilities, where relational capabilities strengthen internal capabilities. Finally, it is established what actions are necessary for the activities analyzed from those dimensions to be a source of competitive advantage by means of relational capabilities created through process integration and outsourcing to highly competent firms.

Practical implications

The development of a short self‐evaluation questionnaire that helps firms implement the methodology and creates the basis for its empirical application by researchers.

Originality/value

The paper studies relational capabilities, an aspect omitted from the internal perspective of the resource and capability theory. It also determines four ways in which relational capabilities influence the strengthening of internal capabilities. The theoretical approach is developed in the redesign of the supply chain.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article

Oscar Malca, Jean Pierre Bolaños, Francisco J. Acedo, Jorge Luis Rubio Donet and Jesus Peña-Vinces

The purpose of this study is to analyse the mediating and moderating effects of relational flexibility norms on relationship building capacities and export performance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the mediating and moderating effects of relational flexibility norms on relationship building capacities and export performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed a quantitative and cross-sectional approach. The analysis was applied to 95 Peruvian Exporting SMEs which were examined through structural equation modelling (SEM) using AMOS 24.0 statistical package. The responses were gathered through telephone and personal interviews which were tested using the Mann–Whitney U test, finding no statistically significant differences.

Findings

The main finding of the study is to demonstrate the indirect effect of relational flexibility norms on the export performance of SMEs through relationship-building capabilities. In this way, these capabilities become very important variables in the export management of SMEs, since they directly affect the relationship of the Exporter–Importer dyad.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations is the cross-sectional type study that applies to the short-term effects of relational norms. Organizational characteristics and other factors that may affect export performance should also be considered in future research, as well as longitudinal studies should be developed.

Practical implications

The study allows SMEs to focus management efforts on strengthening the relationship – building capabilities, which are very important given SMEs' resource constraints. Therefore, an adequate management of relations with importers can contribute to the reduction of control and coordination costs; and have a positive impact on export performance. Similarly, the study contributes to the management of export promotion by suggesting that one area to be prioritized is the strengthening of the relationship capacities of exporting SMEs.

Originality/value

The study provides the analysis of the mediating effect of the relationship-building capability between relational flexibility and export performance. In this way, it enriches the theoretical analysis and contributes with the empirical evidence of an emerging country like the case of Peru.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article

Tomás F. Espino‐Rodríguez and Manuel Rodríguez‐Díaz

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of relational capability compared to that of internal capability on outsourcing, and the influence of relational

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of relational capability compared to that of internal capability on outsourcing, and the influence of relational capability as a moderating variable between outsourcing and internal capabilities. The paper aims to integrate the internal and relational perspectives in a single model of strategic evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

This work analyses the outsourcing process in a representative sample of firms operating in a region of Spain. To accomplish the research objectives, a personal survey was conducted using a questionnaire to evaluate 13 activities of the order distribution process in the supply chain.

Findings

The results indicate that internal capabilities have a negative effect on outsourcing while relational capabilities have a positive effect. They also show that, the greater the relational capabilities of an operation are, the less significant the relationship between internal capabilities and outsourcing will be.

Practical implications

Firstly, by using the proposed model, companies can evaluate their internal and relational strategies and compare them to the sector averages at a given moment. Secondly, they can detect opportunities to improve competitiveness and develop relational capabilities for some of the activities that they wish to outsource. This work helps identify which process activities to outsource and which type of relationship should be maintained to develop a set of capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper provides a comprehensive application of a theoretical framework in a new model of strategic evaluation of outsourcing. Another innovation of this work is the introduction of relational capabilities as a variable moderating the relationship between internal capabilities and outsourcing.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 108 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Rapeeporn Rungsithong, Klaus E. Meyer and Anthony S. Roath

This paper uses the relational capabilities perspective to provide new insights into the mediating role of relational capabilities and their performance implications…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper uses the relational capabilities perspective to provide new insights into the mediating role of relational capabilities and their performance implications. Specially, this paper aims to explain how characteristics of a partnership influence relational capabilities that in turn enhance firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from an original survey of 156 partnership projects between buyers and suppliers in the Thai manufacturing sector, the authors use a structural model to test their hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical analysis shows that the impact of relational and economic attributes of a partnership on firm performance is mediated by knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability. However, the impact varies between operational and strategic performance, as relational capabilities are strongly associated with operational performance but only indirectly associated with strategic performance.

Practical implications

The need to coordinate and mobilize complementary resources not only increases the interdependence between buyers and suppliers but also contributes to firm performance. Specifically, operations can be enhanced by knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability. At a strategic level, operational effectiveness enables firms to benefit from inter-organizational relationships.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to industrial marketing knowledge by shedding light on mediation of relational capabilities between inter-organizational attributes and firm performance. The findings demonstrate the value of the relationship between a firm’s supply chain and its relational capabilities which in turn drive project performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Tomas F. Espino-Rodríguez and Manuel Rodríguez-Díaz

This work examines the relationship between internal and relational capabilities and the creation of value to the end consumer in the case of the process of receipt…

Abstract

Purpose

This work examines the relationship between internal and relational capabilities and the creation of value to the end consumer in the case of the process of receipt, manufacture, and delivery of orders within the supply chain. This work develops a methodology to identify operations that generate core competences and those that do not, with the aim of improving the management of the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

This work analyses the order fulfillment process in a representative sample of firms operating in a region of Spain. To accomplish the research objectives, a personal survey was conducted using a questionnaire to evaluate 13 activities of the order distribution process in the supply chain.

Findings

The results of the study reveal that internal and relational capabilities explain the creation of value to the consumer. They also identify two groups of operations in line with their ability to be sources of relational or internal competitive advantage. With regard to the activities, it was shown that there are some activities that form part of the core competences, while others constitute non-core competences. This work demonstrates that the core activities generate higher value to the end consumer; however, it also shows how important the non-core activities may be to the creation of value.

Practical implications

The work offers orientation as to how the analyzed process should be redesigned to obtain a competitive advantage. Thus, this higher value to the end consumer will enable the firm to reduce prices or at least maintain them, in which case the firm will be able to offer additional services that differentiate it from the competition.

Originality/value

Finally, although the literature contains some works that analyze capabilities or relational performance, none to date have used variables such as activity simplification, integration and relational competitiveness in the framework of relational capabilities in the order fulfillment process. Another significant innovation of this work is the analysis at operation level, in which 13 activities belonging to an important process in the supply chain are analyzed.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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