How firms are using networking decisions to achieve strategic objectives: Building theories from four case studies

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Abstract

Many research studies in OM literature have investigated how different kinds of focal firm decisions regarding business vertical relationships (i.e. with both suppliers and buyers) can positively affect firm’s operations performance and thus improve its competitive position. In this paper we extend this genre of study by also considering business horizontal relationships (i.e with competitors and firms that own complementary capabilities) and by considering the impact of business relationships not only on focal firm’s operations performance but also on its resources endowment. We present four cases that describe what are the strategic manager intents (in term of operations performance and resource endowment) when make decisions about both vertical and horizontal business relationships (i.e. networking strategy). Using theory building through case studies, we identify four archetypes of networking strategy. Each type of networking strategy is a unique configuration of the set of networking decisions adopted and the set of strategic objectives pursued.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011

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Theory building
Strategic objectives
Networking
Business relationships
Buyers
Suppliers
Managers
Endowments
Archetypes
Vertical relationships
Resources
Competitors

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AB - Many research studies in OM literature have investigated how different kinds of focal firm decisions regarding business vertical relationships (i.e. with both suppliers and buyers) can positively affect firm’s operations performance and thus improve its competitive position. In this paper we extend this genre of study by also considering business horizontal relationships (i.e with competitors and firms that own complementary capabilities) and by considering the impact of business relationships not only on focal firm’s operations performance but also on its resources endowment. We present four cases that describe what are the strategic manager intents (in term of operations performance and resource endowment) when make decisions about both vertical and horizontal business relationships (i.e. networking strategy). Using theory building through case studies, we identify four archetypes of networking strategy. Each type of networking strategy is a unique configuration of the set of networking decisions adopted and the set of strategic objectives pursued.

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