Title

Understanding supplier structural embeddedness: A social network perspective

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Abstract

Despite a significant amount of attention, the potential of supplier structural embeddedness (i.e., the value of the structural position in an extended network) to improve the performance of a buying firm remains poorly understood. This study drew on the social network theory to empirically examine a conceptual framework specifying a relationship between the efforts of a buying firm to understand supplier structural configuration and operational and financial performance. This study also examines how the comprehension of structural embeddedness is transformed into performance for a buying firm through relational embeddedness (i.e., the strength of a dyadic relationship). Survey data collected from companies in the U.S. were analyzed using hierarchical regression analysis. The results indicate that the understanding of the structural dimension does help to enhance operational performance of a buying firm, but it does not lead to better financial performance. Empirical evidence shows that a buying firm does improve the quality of a dyadic relationship between the buying firm and a supplier by understanding how the supplier is connected to other firms and what positional values are produced. Further, relational embeddedness is found to mediate the influence of the enhanced understanding of the structural configuration on operational performance. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Publication Title

Journal of Operations Management

Volume

32

Issue

5

First Page

219

Last Page

231

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.jom.2014.03.005

ISSN

02726963

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