مدل میانجی گری بین ابعاد سرمایه اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4384||2013||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13915 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Available online 16 March 2013
Our paper contributes to the growing research by examining the interrelations between the dimensions of capital and their effects on the international market share of multinational companies in the global contractors industry. Previous works on social capital have failed to study the interrelationships between its dimensions or have proposed models with direct relationships. The current study proposes a multiple mediating model and tests the mediation. In particular, we posit that the relational and resource dimensions play a mediating role in the structural dimension-international market share relationship. A variance-based structural equation modeling (Partial Least Squares) has been applied to a sample made up of 225 global contractors. Our analysis lends support to the importance of the central positions of a firm and their influence on international market share. Moreover, mediation hypotheses posit how the relational and resource dimensions play a critical mediating role in the structural dimension – international market share relationship. Analysis of the data suggest that the dimensions of social capital are interrelated in such a way that the relational and resource dimensions: (a) fully mediate the effect of centrality (structural dimension) on the international share market and (b) exert significant influence on the international market share of each company.
In recent years, increasing interest in the study of international strategic alliances (ISAs) and other cooperation mechanisms in the field of international business has been observed. However, some questions have yet to be studied in depth, from among which, we focus on the strategic management of social capital in value creation (Lavie, 2007, Sarkar et al., 2001, Sarkar et al., 2009, Wasserman and Faust, 1994 and Wassmer, 2010) and, in particular, on the role played by social capital in generating this value (Jiang, Tao, & Santoro, 2010). Most studies have examined the benefits of social capital for inter-organizational networks in which the companies are embedded (Koka and Prescott, 2002 and Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998). Other works have not even explicitly used the term “social capital”. Accordingly, Powell, Koput, & Smith-Doerr (1996) noted that the locus of innovation is within the networks of strategic alliances. Peng and Luo (2000) analyzed how managerial ties with different types of actors impact on the firm. Ahuja (2000a) studied the impact that direct ties, indirect ties and structural holes have on innovation. Shan, Walker, and Kogut (1994) analyzed how the number of cooperative relationships has a positive effect on innovative output. Finally, Madhavan, Koka, and Prescott (1998) centered on changes in the structure of the strategic alliance network, centrality and centralization (Madhavan et al., 1998). Other research does explicitly employ the concept of social capital, but does not conduct an in-depth analysis of its different dimensions and how these interrelate between each other. Accordingly, Pennings, Lee, and Arjen van Witteloostuijn (1998) studied how social capital and human capital affected organizational survival. Ahuja (2000b) conceptualized social capital as prior degree centrality. Park and Luo (2001) analyzed ‘guanxi’ as a mechanism to exploit and accumulate social capital. Yli-Renko, Autio, and Sapienza (2001) and Yli-Renko, Autio, and Tontti (2002) analyzed how different aspects of social capital (principally structural: social interaction, relationship quality, and network ties) impact on the acquisition of knowledge and on international growth. Batjargal (2003) individually analyzed how different aspects of social capital from networks of entrepreneurs affected the performance of firms. Acquaah (2007) analyzed social capital embodied in the development of managerial social networks and ties with external entities. Presutti, Boari, and Fratocchi (2007) analyzed how different dimensions of social capital impacted in an independent way on knowledge acquisition and, as a consequence of this, on international growth. Luk et al. (2008) compared social capital to the guanxi of government officials and to the guanxi of other managers. Finally, Mu, Love, and Peng (2008) referred to social capital as resources, knowledge, and capability accessed in a social network and Malik (2012) referred to it as volume, diversity and wealth of information. Our paper seeks to fill a gap in the literature by taking a deeper look at the conceptualization and mediation of the different dimensions of social capital social and by analyzing the interrelations between those dimensions. In this way, we can better understand the influence of social capital on the international performance of firms and how these gains depend on the strategic configuration of the dimensions of social capital (Wu, 2008). The literature has defined social capital as the network of relationships which adds value to the actors forming the network, by allowing them access to the network-embedded resources (Adler and Kwon, 2002 and Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). The three key elements of this definition are: the set of ties; the characteristics of these ties (trust); and the resources that other organizations or nodes possess in the network. Along these same lines, Koka and Prescott (2002: p. 795) affirmed that “social capital is exciting and a particularly apposite construct to study interfirm networks”. Thus, Ahuja, Soda, and Zaheer (2012) considered that the architecture of any interfirm network can be conceptualized on the basis of three elements, which are: the nodes that constitute the network, the ties that connect the nodes, and the pattern or structure that results from these connections. Finally, various authors (Koka and Prescott, 2002, Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998 and Wu, 2008) conceive of social capital as a multidimensional concept. Therefore, the above-mentioned essential elements are covered in our research through our definition of social capital as the structural characteristics of the network (structural dimension), the components of the alliance such as trust (relational dimension) (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998 and Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998) and the features of partner firms such as partner resources (resource dimension) (Batjargal, 2003 and Rivera-Santos and Inkpen, 2009). Once the social capital is defined, a further question is how it has been analyzed. Accordingly, Koka and Prescott checked the convergent and discriminant validity of the social capital construct, but they did not study the interrelationships between its dimensions. Tsai and Ghoshal (1998), on the other hand, proposed a model of social capital with direct relationships in an intra-organizational context. There is, therefore, an open area in which to examine the existing relationships between the dimensions of social capital in a global interorganizational context. The present study proposes a multiple mediating model and tests the mediation hypotheses using bootstrapping methods (Hayes, Preacher, & Myers, 2011). In particular, we posit that the relational and resource dimensions play a mediating role in the relationship between structural dimension/international market share. This analysis leads us to a better understanding of the internal functioning of social capital and helps us to reveal its strategic configuration. This is important because managers must not only take account of individual dimensions but how one dimension affects the others dimensions. In this sense, the optimal decisions of the focal action in the choice of partners and in the development of network structure and relational patterns is likely to result in stronger partner relationships (Sarkar et al., 2009). Likewise, the relational governance of the strategic alliances of the focal actor will facilitate access and mobilization of the valuable resources of the alters (Sarkar et al., 2009). Thus, what inhibits a firm more than anything else from establishing cooperative agreements is opportunism, in other words, the fear that partners will unscrupulously protect their own self-interest. Such problems concerning safeguards are aggravated when partners have to make exchange-specific investments and the actors involved have an unequal or unbalanced endowment of resources (Rindfleisch & Heide, 1997). These risks may be minimized through the relational dimension, where innovation may be developed beyond the limits of contractual clauses, resources may be mobilized, and fine-grained tacit and explicit knowledge may be shared to a greater extent (Sarkar et al., 2009), even though both formal and informal safeguards constitute appropriate mechanisms. Along these same lines, Walker, Kogut, and Shan (1997) contend that firms that do not manage the relational dimension of social capital well are more vulnerable to opportunistic behavior and less able to build an enduring history of effective cooperative behavior with their partners over time. Thus, these firms will spend a lot of time and energy on controlling the relation instead of looking for synergies and complementarities. In conclusion, the analysis that we propose will give us a much better understanding of the composition of social capital which will assist managers with its management and the benefits that may be gained from it. Finally, some studies have used alliance social capital in international contexts (Gulati et al., 2009, Malik, 2012 and Wu, 2008). Specifically, Zhou, Wu, and Luo (2007) pointed out that outward internationalization requires the development of alliances with foreign business to learn about new technologies and the needs of international markets, as well as about the gains related to the scale and scope of economies achieved by revenue growth in the geographic extension of markets. We analyzed the proposed model in the global contractors industry, an empirical context in which the phenomenon of co-opetition (or cooperative competition), in order to improve the international market share, is very relevant. Accordingly, some researchers have studied the influence of social networks in achieving international performance focusing on the SMEs’ structural dimension (Agndal et al., 2008, Coviello and Munro, 1997, Johanson and Mattsson, 1988, Lindstrand et al., 2011, Prashantham, 2011, Presutti et al., 2007 and Zhou et al., 2007). Moreover, although the literature shows that the international market share is one of the most relevant for the international activity of multinational companies (MNCs), few investigations have analyzed how the composition and management of such a critical resource as social capital impacts on this result (Kauser & Shaw, 2004). Taking account of the above insights, the objective of this study is to investigate a central question: how do the relational and resource dimensions mediate the relationship between the structural dimension and the international market share? In particular, we want to understand how different social capital dimensions generate increased value for the firm in an inter-organizational context, specifically by influencing the international market share. Secondly, we wish to explore and test the likelihood that relational and resource dimensions sequentially mediate (e.g., a three-path mediation model; cf. Hayes, 2009 and Taylor et al., 2008) the relationship between the social capital's structural dimension and the international market share. With these objectives in mind, this paper is organized as follows. We begin with a review of the literature on social capital, in order to identify and measure each of the dimensions that constitute the construct, as well as the impact of each one on the international competitive position of firms. We propose a multiple mediating model that shows the dimensions of social capital. We then present our results, and a discussion, based on the analysis of data from a sample of 225 top international contractors (Sarkar, Aulakh, & Cavusgil, 1998). This study concludes with a discussion of the results, their implications, the limitations of the study, and suggested future research lines.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this study, we aim to examine the social capital construct in greater depth through the application of a statistical mediation analysis. The structural dimension could be placed at the beginning of the process, whilst the relational and the resource dimensions occupy mediating positions between centrality (structural dimension) and international market share. Our results show that social capital dimensions are interrelated, in such a way that the relational and the resource dimensions fully mediate the effect of centrality on the international market share. Accordingly, the results have both theoretical and practical implications. 5.1. Theoretical implications This article is intended to respond to calls from different scholars for the need to broaden our theoretical understanding of social capital (Adler and Kwon, 2002 and Koka and Prescott, 2002). Based on this work, we have distinguished three dimensions which occupy successive stages or positions of the social capital process, that is, the structural, relational and resource dimensions. When we consider the model with the total effect (Fig. 2a), our results indicate that the more central the position of a firm in the global contractors network (i.e., the structural dimension), the greater the international market share achieved by the focal actor. However, the importance of the direct effect of the structural dimension decreases considerably in favor of the relational and resource dimensions when we analyze the full model (Fig. 2b). On the one hand, the relational dimension – a consequence of strengthening a firm's relationships and developing trust (Gulati, 1995b) – is more important than the mere establishment of an inter-organizational alliance. On the other hand, the resource dimension is the variable which has been more directly associated with firm performance (Batjargal, 2003 and Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998). Accordingly, our research shows that firms that have privileged access to partners’ resources can achieve a greater international market share than their competitors (Autio, Sapienza, & Almeida, 2000). Therefore, when undergoing the internationalization process, firms must obtain, share, assimilate and combine resources – primarily knowledge – in order to compete and to grow in international markets. In fact, the resource dimension represents the best predictor of the international market share of the global contractors’ network in our research model (it explains 18.77% of its explained variance), surpassing the direct influence of structural and relational dimensions on the final endogenous variable. Moreover, this study has helped to demystify the complex relationships between these different dimensions of social capital. Indeed, the structural model shows that all path coefficients between SD, RelD and ResD are significant. Consequently, such social capital dimensions are interrelated not only in a sequential process, but also in parallel (Tsai & Ghoshal, 1998); which is to say that the SD is significantly associated with RelD and ResD. More profoundly, we have shown that the relational and resource dimensions sequentially mediate the relationship between centrality and international market share. Our results further show that this is a full mediation. Accordingly, it demonstrates the relevance of strategic management of an alliance portfolio by the firm, in order to develop trusty relationships with valuable partners with the aim of exploiting the social capital and of achieving an international competitive advantage. Certainly, in the presence of the relational and resource dimensions, the direct impact of centrality on the international market share becomes insignificant. 5.2. Managerial implications The increasing importance of strategic alliances in the global business environment leads to the question of how MNCs should manage their alliance portfolios (Wassmer, 2010). On these lines, Mathews and Zander (2007) affirm that the competitive advantage of a firm is not due to owned assets that are exploited in international markets so much as it is due to the firm's ability to manage and to access the assets of others through inter-firm networks. A good understanding of social capital is needed to respond to this question, which means analyzing its dimensions and the interrelationships between them. In our empirical context, the results show that a firm's network position is important provided that trust is embedded in its network's ties and its partners have valuable resources which can be accessed by the focal firm. Therefore, managers take account of the way in which a certain dimension influences the other dimensions, in order to configure and manage their alliance portfolios. Managers should therefore follow a holistic approach (Wassmer, 2010) in the management of their alliance portfolio, which implies considering all the relations of the focal actor and all the dimensions and aspects of the configuration of their capital. This implies that managers should take into account, when selecting the partners and developing the relational structure or pattern, which partners are better adjusted to their strategic objectives and values. It is therefore more likely that they will develop strong and trusty relationships with their partners, in order to avoid opportunistic behaviors and to promote the exchange of resources and they should, moreover, understand which resources are necessary and valuable for their firms and, therefore, which are the most suitable partners. In conclusion, managers have to maximize network benefits and minimize network risks, and to reach this objective the managers should understand and value the interrelations existing between the different dimensions of social capital. To sum up, by identifying the dimensions of social capital and showing that relational and resource dimensions play a critical mediating role, managers will be able to manage their alliances or inter-organizational relationships more strategically and hopefully obtain better performance from social networks.