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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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Chandrasekararao Seepana, Ahmad Khraishi, Antony Paulraj and Fahian Anisul Huq

This study aims to investigate how contract complexity and relational trust could impact offshore outsourcing innovation (OOI) performance of small and medium enterprises…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how contract complexity and relational trust could impact offshore outsourcing innovation (OOI) performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This study further examines the moderating effects of knowledge routines and joint actions on the relationships between contract complexity, as well as relational trust and OOI performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical investigation extends transaction cost economics and the relational view of buyer-supplier dyads in the context of offshore outsourcing SMEs. To test the hypotheses, the authors collected and analysed survey data from 200 European manufacturing SMEs that have existing offshore supplier relationships.

Findings

The results suggest that both complex contracts and relational trust as governance structures positively affect SMEs’ OOI performance. Additionally, while both formal knowledge routines and joint actions help strengthen the relationship between complex contracts and OOI, they showed no significant moderating effect on the relationship between relational trust and OOI. Furthermore, based on the results, the authors also develop a governance framework covering four configurations – fit, firm, flexible and fragile (4F).

Originality/value

The 4F governance scenarios – fit, firm, flexible and fragile – introduced in this study emphasise the need for a combination of contract complexity and relational trust mechanisms in OOI relationships. The 4F labelling has rich implications for practitioners on how interfirm outsourcing innovation relationships can be managed based on configurations of contractual and relational governance. The study also adds to the understanding of how SMEs’ specific characteristics (e.g. resource shortcomings and flexibility) may influence their OOI decisions in comparison with large firms.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2020

Franciele Bonatto, Luis Mauricio Martins de Resende and Joseane Pontes

The goal of this research is to establish which contextual factors influence the selection of relational governance instruments in supply chains (SCs) and how these…

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this research is to establish which contextual factors influence the selection of relational governance instruments in supply chains (SCs) and how these factors impact the expected performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review (SLR) identified 103 conceptual, empirical and analytical studies between 2007 and 2017.

Findings

A conceptual framework is developed from the categorization of contextual factors, relational governance instruments and expected SC performance. The conceptual framework provides three propositions: (1) The choice for relational governance instrument is influenced differently by the contextual factors; (2) the impact that the contextual factors have on the governance instruments and SC performance is mediated by trust; (3) The SC performance is affected differently by the instruments of flexibility, solidarity and information sharing.

Practical implications

The findings of this research can help business managers better govern and know the contextual factors and use different relational governance instruments and trust dimensions to drive the expected results of the SC.

Originality/value

The synthesis reveals contingencies of relational governance instruments in SCs for performance expected in different contexts and proposes a standpoint for further research in the area.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Megha Gupta, Kanika T. Bhal and Mahfooz A. Ansari

Drawing on similarity-attraction hypothesis and generational gap literatures, this study aims to examine the impact of age difference in a leader–member dyad on…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on similarity-attraction hypothesis and generational gap literatures, this study aims to examine the impact of age difference in a leader–member dyad on leader–member exchange (LMX). The study hypothesized that relational age would impact the subordinates-reported LMX. However, given that leaders have structural power over subordinates and hence have mechanisms of interaction available to them, the age difference might not determine their perception of quality of LMX. The study also hypothesized that generation gap in values and beliefs leads to lack of trust, on the part of subordinates, which in turn might be the reason for poor quality of LMX.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 200 leader–member dyads from five organizations in the National Capital Region of India were used in this study. Data were collected via separate structured questionnaires for leaders and members, which comprised of standard scales of LMX and perceived trust, and demographics.

Findings

Hypotheses received substantial support from the data with a few exceptions. Only the loyalty dimension of perceived trust mediates the relationship between relational age and member perception of LMX.

Research limitations/implications

Results have implications for relational age and LMX interventions. However, the results are to be viewed in the light of members’ perspective. While this is a common practice in LMX research, it would be interesting to explore leaders’ trust and psychological reactions as well, for additional insights into leadership practice.

Originality/value

Limited work has been done to explore the impact of relational age on LMX, that too mediated by trust. An attempt has been made in this study to do so via leader–member dyads.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Franciele Bonatto, Luis Mauricio Martins de Resende and Joseane Pontes

This paper aims to clarify ambiguous results from previous research on the relationship between contextual factors, trust and supply chain governance (SCG).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify ambiguous results from previous research on the relationship between contextual factors, trust and supply chain governance (SCG).

Design/methodology/approach

This study carried out a systematic literature review in 11 databases, with articles published until 2018. Afterward, this study conducted a thematic analysis in 60 articles to address the contextual factors, governance structures and trust approaches raised in previous research.

Findings

The thematic analysis revealed that seven contextual factors influence the choice of contractual and relational mechanisms in supply chains: relationship history, environmental uncertainty, perceived risk, perceived justice, asset specificity, power asymmetry and interdependence. The findings explained the ambiguous results of past research by proposing that contractual and relational governance are complementary and that the presence of trust (affective and competence-based) moderates the relationship between contextual factors and SCG.

Originality/value

This research advances the SCG literature by proposing trust (affective and competence-based) as a moderating variable that fosters governance mechanisms in supply chain relationships.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Ebrahim Teimoury, Mehdi Fesharaki and Afshar Bazyar

This paper aims to examine the impact of trust, norm of information sharing, and vertical control on relational ties in new product development (NPD) relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of trust, norm of information sharing, and vertical control on relational ties in new product development (NPD) relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey research was conducted to collect data from 112 NPD relationships and structural equation modeling was conducted to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results suggest that trust and norms of information sharing are positively related to relational ties, while vertical control and relational ties are negatively related. Three independent variables (i.e. trust, norm of information sharing, and vertical control) could significantly predict relational ties. It was also found that there are threshold effects for independent variables as they influence relational ties.

Originality/value

The study enhances the understanding of NPD relationships by examining the key modes of governance through which relational ties are influenced.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

Upasna A. Agarwal and Sushmita A. Narayana

The present study aims to examine the impact of relational communication, operationalized in terms of information sharing, quality and frequency of information, on buyer's…

1331

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to examine the impact of relational communication, operationalized in terms of information sharing, quality and frequency of information, on buyer's trust and relationship satisfaction in a buyer–vendor relationship. The study also tests the mediating role of trust and the moderating role of relationship commitment in relational communication and satisfaction relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study were collected through a questionnaire survey from 321 managers of the different firms who were directly or indirectly involved in making procurement or purchasing decision in the firm and were familiar with the firm's supplier relationships.

Findings

Relational communication was found to be positively related to relational satisfaction and trust partially mediated this relationship. Further, relationship commitment moderated relational communication-satisfaction relationship, such that the positive affect of relational communication on relational satisfaction was accentuated when buyer experienced higher relationship commitment towards the supplier.

Research limitations/implications

Using single source, self-reported questionnaire data and cross-sectional research design are the limitations of this study. Studies in future should consider a dyadic perspective. The study outlines the need to explore investments and strategies in enhancing relational communication in buyer–vendor relationships.

Originality/value

Anchored in theoretical foundations of social exchange theory, the study integrates and tests behavioral aspects of buyer–vendor relationship. Testing an integrated model with direct and indirect effects of relational communication on relationship satisfaction in buyer–vendor is a significant contribution of the research. The study also contributes by examining relational exchanges in buyer-vendor relationships in India, an underrepresented context in buyer–supplier relationship (BSR) literature.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 December 2021

Evelyne Vanpoucke, Martin Wetzels, Frank Rozemeijer and Marion Pilzak-Blonska

Buyers and suppliers often perceive relationship governance mechanisms, such as trust and contractual fairness, in different ways. These differences in perception create…

Abstract

Purpose

Buyers and suppliers often perceive relationship governance mechanisms, such as trust and contractual fairness, in different ways. These differences in perception create an extra layer of complexity that is often ignored in the extant literature. This study adds to the understanding of how perceived asymmetries in trust and contractual fairness, two key relationship governance mechanisms, impact relational rents. This study also analyzes how boundary spanners aid managers to deal with these perceived asymmetries.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data of 103 buyer–supplier dyads from a single global manufacturer of industrial equipment, the authors test hypotheses of perceived asymmetries in trust and contractual fairness, as well as the moderating effect of boundary spanners, on relational rents.

Findings

This research challenges the belief that asymmetries negatively impact or lead to unstable buyer–supplier relationships. Furthermore, it explains how preferential treatment and length of the relationship could reduce the impact of asymmetric perceptions.

Practical implications

This study stresses that open communication, which considers different viewpoints, helps to overcome the negative differences in attitude and perception. In addition, the authors found that long-term relationships seem to be far more resilient in dealing with asymmetries and that preferential treatments are best applied in (approximately) symmetric relationships in terms of contractual fairness.

Originality/value

While studies on buyer–supplier relationships often assume symmetric perceptions of governance mechanisms, asymmetric perceptions are far more prominent in reality. This study aims to improve one’s understanding of the impact of these asymmetries as well as how boundary spanners can affect these perceptions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Yangbing Zhang, Yousong Wang and Hongjiang Yao

This paper aims to explore the relationship between the embeddedness of relational behaviours in contractual relations and the development of inter-organisational trust

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the relationship between the embeddedness of relational behaviours in contractual relations and the development of inter-organisational trust between contracting parties in construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was undertaken to collect data from 310 experienced project practitioners. Hierarchical regression and curvilinear regression were mainly used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results validated the role of relational behaviours in boosting trust expectation, with the contractual context dampening the positive effect only slightly. However, the impact of the embedded relational behaviours on trust intention was found contingent on the equality of outcome: relational behaviours make an impact on trust intention opposite to what the equality of outcome makes; the combination of relational behaviours and the equality of outcome finally has a positive impact on trust intention. As such, the relational behaviours embedded in contractual relations would help reduce particular distrust or improve trust when the outcome is perceived equal.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions are derived from the Chinese cultural background and may apply to a certain geographical scope. The nonprobability sampling method also limits the generalization of some conclusions. Besides, the results may present the contractor's view better than the owner's view.

Practical implications

This research would help the practitioners to find a balance between relational behaviours and contractual behaviours in managing inter-organisational relationship. It would also supply effective ways for contracting parties to reduce particular distrust or cultivate particular trust in construction projects.

Originality/value

Previous studies have investigated the unique impact of relational behaviours and contractual behaviours on trust. However, few of them have checked how the mixture of both kinds of behaviours influences trust. This paper contributes to this knowledge by investigating how the embeddedness of relational behaviours in contractual relations influences the trust between contracting parties.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Yousong Wang, Fangfang Liu, Yangbing Zhang and Enqin Gong

This paper aims to reveal the role of conflict management in the process of trust development. Specifically, this study investigates how the salience of conflict varies…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to reveal the role of conflict management in the process of trust development. Specifically, this study investigates how the salience of conflict varies with different conflict-handling behaviors and behavioral outcomes and how the variation of the salience of conflict influences the trust development between contracting parties.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was undertaken to collect data from 310 experienced project practitioners. Hierarchical regression analysis and bootstrapping with a structural equation model were mainly used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This paper finds that the relational degree of conflict handling behaviors can influence the salience of conflict and furthermore to influence trust between contracting parties, with this relationship mediated by the behavioral outcomes; however, all these relationships are contingent on the stage where relational conflict handling behaviors are adopted and the specific type of outcomes the behaviors result in.

Practical implications

This study provides some specific directions for the practitioners to conduct relational conflict handling behaviors and generate positive outcomes to keep trust developing between contracting parties in conflictual situations.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the knowledge of inter-organizational trust development as well as conflict management, by investigating the relationship between conflict and trust in a direction, which is less examined and revealing the process of conflict management, where the conflict handling behaviors influence behavioral outcomes to further manage conflict, in trust development.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

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