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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2019

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…

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5735

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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Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2011

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
Publication date: 6 April 2012

Marko Kohtamäki and Michael Bourlakis

This study aims to examine the antecedents of relationship learning in partnerships and develop a research model that explains relationship learning through three…

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1090

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the antecedents of relationship learning in partnerships and develop a research model that explains relationship learning through three complementary constructs: relational practices, social capital and suppliers' relationship‐specific investments.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examines data drawn from interviews regarding 195 customer‐supplier relationships from the metal and electronics industries. In terms of methodology, the study employs structural equation modelling.

Findings

The findings indicate that relational practices, social capital and supplier's relationship‐specific investments explain relationship learning to a great extent.

Research limitations/implications

The present study has some limitations, such as the use of cross‐sectional data and a limited sample size. More empirical research is needed on the antecedents and mechanisms of relationship learning as well as the interactions among antecedents.

Practical implications

The results suggest that companies must be able to facilitate the development of relational practices, social capital and suppliers' relationship‐specific investments, as these constructs explain relationship learning largely.

Originality/value

The prior literature lacks empirical evidence on the antecedents of relationship learning, particularly in the context of partnerships. The present study demonstrates a significant impact of three antecedent constructs on relationship learning.

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Ying-Pin Yeh

This paper aims to explore the enhancement of value-added characteristics in strategic supply management by considering manufacturers’ willingness, opinions on relational

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the enhancement of value-added characteristics in strategic supply management by considering manufacturers’ willingness, opinions on relational governance and the effect of relational governance on relationship value.

Design/methodology/approach

After a literature review, this study identified the antecedents of relational governance affecting manufacturers, and explored the effect of relational governance on relationship value, taking relationship quality and interfirm learning as the intervening constructs. Data collected from 259 valid questionnaires completed by purchasing managers for the top 2,000 Taiwanese manufacturers were assessed using a structural equation model.

Findings

The results indicated that relational governance is directly and positively correlated with relationship quality and interfirm learning; relational quality and interfirm learning are directly and positively correlated with relationship value; and consumer orientation and management innovation are directly and positively correlated with relational governance.

Research limitations/implications

The high explanatory power of the results of the deduced model in this research helps to explain the relational governance of manufacturers toward the suppliers. However, the factors affecting the sustainability of cooperative relationships in service contexts might differ.

Practical implications

Relational governance complements the adaptive limits of contracts by fostering the continuance of exchange and entrusting both parties with mutually agreeable outcomes. Relational governance affects manufacturers’ ability to flexibly adapt and overcome uncertainty in the supply chain relationship.

Originality/value

This study investigated the relationship among governance features that support interorganizational relations and developed precise measures of relational governance. The effect of relational governance on the evaluation of relationship value was examined.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Hilary Bradbury-Huang, Benyamin Lichtenstein, John S. Carroll and Peter M. Senge

Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders…

Abstract

Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders. Multi-organizational consortia have formed, not as philanthropic efforts, but to find competitive advantage. To examine the dynamics of an early collaboration of this sort, with a view to suggesting how future inter-organizational projects might be fostered, we pursued an in-depth multi-method case study of “The Sustainability Consortium.” The Consortium has convened Fortune 50 senior managers since 1998. Our analysis uncovers the primacy of “Relational Space” – a rich context for aspirational trust and reflective learning across organizational boundaries, which is enabled by, and in turn gives rise to, collaborative projects. Within this space, an ecology of organizational leaders committed to sustainability can accomplish together what would be impossible in their individual organizations. We explain the viability of this collaboration.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-191-7

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Steve Kempster and Ken Parry

Observational learning within the leadership development of managers is under-theorized thus far. The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical argument that…

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1564

Abstract

Purpose

Observational learning within the leadership development of managers is under-theorized thus far. The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical argument that builds out from a relational leadership perspective to center on processes affecting observational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The contribution is to draw together research to build a holistic model of observational learning. A further contribution is to apply this model to the context of leadership development.

Findings

The paper examines processes associated with attention, availability, access, attainability, motivation and social comparison with significant others in particular contexts. The paper takes a temporal perspective to examine the ways that such interaction appears to be most prominent at particular times.

Research limitations/implications

The paper concludes by outlining the opportunities for applying this understanding of observational leadership learning within management development arenas and explore future directions for research.

Originality/value

Observational learning has been relatively overlooked. Though the authors often “know” that leaders develop through experience, the role of observational learning in this experience is not well understood. This paper is intended to provide a stimulus for exploring this important area in terms of shaping thinking and designs for management development interventions.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2019

Martin Scanlan, Minsong Kim and Larry Ludlow

As the demographic landscape in the USA becomes more culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD), schools must build educators’ professional knowledge and skills to better…

Abstract

Purpose

As the demographic landscape in the USA becomes more culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD), schools must build educators’ professional knowledge and skills to better serve students whose mother tongues are not English. The purpose of this paper is to report on the formation of a network of schools collaboratively transforming their approaches to teaching and learning in order to meet the educational needs of this changing student population.

Design/methodology/approach

To determine how relational networks in this network affect the learning of educators to implement the bilingual education model, the authors drew from three data sources: a social network survey, semi-structured interviews and archival documents.

Findings

The schools in this study are engaged in a dramatic restructuring, moving from monolingual English schools to a network of two-way immersion bilingual schools. The evidence from this study revealed different information sharing structures within the relational networks. The authors found organizational structures of interactive spaces and teams supporting the relational networks that created communities of practice, and these communities of practice fostering all three aspects of profession capital (human, social and decisional).

Research limitations/implications

The analysis points toward the complicated nature of organizational learning within networks of schools. While some relational networks were strong, the authors also note gaps and disconnections in the network interactions, despite the structures promoting connectivity. Hence, this study sheds light on both the power and the limitation of networked learning within and across school striving to improve the teaching and learning for CLD students.

Originality/value

This original analysis lays the foundation for future investigations of networked learning.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Darach Turley and Susi Geiger

This paper aims to investigate the characteristics and parameters of salesperson learning within client relationships, thereby filling a noticeable gap in the knowledge of…

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1666

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the characteristics and parameters of salesperson learning within client relationships, thereby filling a noticeable gap in the knowledge of individual learning in a sales context. It also aims at advancing the discussion on the nature of learning and knowledge in sales and marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach is used to investigate salesperson learning in a relational context. Data collection methods include interviews with 36 business‐to‐business sales personnel, reflexive exercises and field observations.

Findings

The investigation shows that salesperson relational learning is personal, that it occurs in action, that it is contextual, natural, open‐ended, and often unconscious. Antecedents of learning are personal dispositions such as openness to changing contexts and situated learning mechanisms; consequences of relational learning are personal methods of knowledge transfer as well as the transformation of the learner and the client relationship. Thus, a framework of salesperson relational learning is proposed.

Practical implications

Sales managers should emphasise the continuity of learning, train people in situ and minimise turnover of sales personnel. They might also do well to acknowledge how these alternative modes can complement traditional, more formal sales management methods.

Originality/value

This paper presents a grounded model that aids both researchers and practitioners in understanding salesperson learning in client relationships, thus advancing a new theoretical perspective on learning in sales and marketing.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Po-Yen Lee, Meng-Ling Wu, Cheng-Chung Kuo and Chun-Sheng Joseph Li

The purpose of this paper is to provide a more robust understanding of how to deploy multiunit organizations’ dynamic capabilities (DCs) by examining the roles of embedded…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a more robust understanding of how to deploy multiunit organizations’ dynamic capabilities (DCs) by examining the roles of embedded social (structural and relational) capital and knowledge archetype (exploitative and exploratory) learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses 315 multiunit samples and structural equation modeling to determine the relationships among the variables.

Findings

The analysis reveals that, while embedded structural social capital exerts a positive influence on exploratory knowledge learning in multiunit organizations, embedded relational social capital exerts a positive influence on knowledge archetype (exploitative and exploratory) learning. Knowledge archetype (exploitative and exploratory) learning also positively influences DC deployment in multiunit organizations.

Research limitations/implications

Few DCs studies have empirically examined the roles of embedded social (structural and relational) capital and knowledge archetype (exploitative and exploratory) learning in multiunit organizations. The results of this study address the failure of past theoretical perspectives on DCs to fully specify and verify the links between the roles of embedded social (structural and relational) capital and knowledge archetype (exploitative and exploratory) learning.

Originality/value

This paper offers one practical trajectory for DC deployment in modern multiunit organizations and offers two contributions to the theoretical perspectives on DCs. First, it identifies the critical role of embedded social capital in enabling knowledge archetype learning and DC deployment, which had never been fully specified or verified in the DCs literature. Second, it identifies the importance of DCs’ deployment trajectory in multiunit organizations’ routine processes.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2020

Joelle Rodway and Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple

Reflecting on professional learning networks (PLN) in rural and equity-seeking spaces, the authors foreground the importance of “relational space” in studying PLNs in this…

Abstract

Reflecting on professional learning networks (PLN) in rural and equity-seeking spaces, the authors foreground the importance of “relational space” in studying PLNs in this commentary. The authors argue that while the complexity of taking a relational approach is challenging, it offers an important and necessary perspective, one which is often implicit in the studies featured in this book but not explicitly considered. The chapter is organized around three broad concepts from social network theory – boundedness, connectedness, and mutuality – which serve as starting points for shifting our gaze from formal system structures to more deeply interrogating the informal relational spaces within PLNs. The authors conclude with a call to make use of network theory and methods on their own, and in complement to other literatures, to do so.

Details

Professional Learning Networks: Facilitating Transformation in Diverse Contexts with Equity-seeking Communities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-894-9

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