شکل دهی و دوباره شکل دهی به سرمایه اجتماعی در روابط خریدار و فروشنده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4228||2011||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 64, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 164–171
Social capital plays an important role in explaining how value is created from firms' network relationships, but little is understood about how social capital is shaped over time and how it is re-shaped when firms consolidate their network ties. In response, this study explores the evolution of social capital in buyer–supplier relationships through a case study of a company undertaking radical product innovation, and examines the corresponding changes in the firm's network of buyer–supplier relationships. The analysis shows that social capital is built in a decidedly non-linear and non-uniform manner. The study also reveals considerable interaction among the dimensions of social capital throughout the evolution of the firm's network, and emphasizes the importance of the cognitive dimension—a feature receiving little attention thus far. The evidence shows, too, that efforts to strengthen social capital need to increase when network ties are sacrificed to prevent unintended consequences for firms' longer-term value creation.
A firm's network of relationships offers privileged access to knowledge, resources, technologies, and markets that can be leveraged to create new value (Inkpen and Tsang, 2005). However, the positive conditions necessary for the exchange of such resources is dependent on the social capital that the firm develops as its inter-firm relationships grow (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). Social capital is essentially the sum of resources that a firm accrues by virtue of possessing a durable network of inter-firm relationships (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). Prior investigations in the literature seek to examine empirically the benefits of social capital, but the popularity of the social capital construct may be outpacing its conceptual development (Rodan and Galunic, 2004). Earlier attempts to describe the theoretical underpinnings of this area propose that interactions along structural, relational, and cognitive dimensions nurture social capital, and that increases in social capital can help to unlock resources that typically improve firm performance (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). However, the research community's eagerness to examine the benefits of social capital empirically has resulted in an oversimplification of the complexity of managing inter-firm ties over time. Two problems emerge from this oversimplification. First, different types of network ties may require different structural, relational, and cognitive conditions, and their effects on unlocking value from relationships may not be uniform (Inkpen and Tsang, 2005). This research area would accordingly benefit from investigations addressing the issue of how social capital can be built, shaped, and deployed over time en route to determining whether exceptions exist to the linear process currently suggested in the literature. Second, social capital is not without risks. As a firm's network grows, ties change in their relative strength and importance and, over time, redundancy in the network of ties would be expected (McFadyen and Cannella, 2004). Firms are then faced with situations where previously strong ties may become less relevant, or may need to be sacrificed altogether. The literature has so far failed to offer constructive examples of how ties can be weakened or sacrificed, or how negative changes in social capital can cause problems for a firm. This study responds to these gaps by studying social capital in the buyer–supplier relationships of a firm undergoing a period of radical innovation. Two research questions are addressed. First, can social capital be built in a way that is different from the linear trajectory portrayed in the literature? And second, when linkages with other firms must be severed or sacrificed, how can this be done in a way that preserves social capital as much as possible? To answer these questions, this investigation puts forward an in-depth case study of an organization's buyer–supplier relationships and examines two sets of ties therein. The first set relates to its core product, while the second relates to ties formed to develop and commercialize a radical innovation that was very different from the firm's core product line. The contrast between these two scenarios sheds light on the shaping and usage of social capital, reveals some exceptions to the current theory in this area, and offers implications for both theory and practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Testing Proposition 1a Three types of relationships underpin Domino's inkjet technologies: R&D ties, ties with key component makers (e.g., for modular subsystems), and weaker ties with firms that supply semi-commoditized components. The density and configuration of these ties vary according to the nature of each relationship. In its R&D ties, Domino's relationships tend to be open-ended, lasting between a few months (strong interaction) to several years (weak interaction punctuated by episodes of increased contact). However, for key component ties, the intensity of interaction is consistently high and long-term because of the importance of these inputs to Domino's end products. This evidence is inconsistent with the path-dependent view espoused in the literature, and therefore helps to usefully extend our understanding of how social capital is formed. Prior investigations in this area portray the creation of social capital as a linear process whereby social capital grows uniformly as the intensity of ties increases (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). However, the case demonstrates that, in the long term, ties can experience episodes of strong–weak interaction that are arguably as valuable as strong ties on their own. These interactions can result in a highly non-uniform accumulation of social capital. Even when two types of ties are ostensibly strong–such as Domino's key component relationships and some of its R&D ties–the frequency of cooperation changes depending on the returns the company intends and their relevance to immediate short-term performance (component ties) versus mid-to-long-term performance (R&D ties). The development of social capital therefore does not follow the kind of neatly divided strong–weak dichotomy suggested in the literature; instead, the process by which social capital is shaped is punctuated in time and investment by the firm according to the desired returns and the speed with which these returns are delivered. This evidence supports Proposition 1a. Research into social capital in the buyer–supplier literature should therefore account for the properties of each tie in forming an understanding of how and in what way social capital enables value creation from the buyer–supplier relationships held by a firm. A linear view of social capital overlooks the multidimensional nature of buyer–supplier ties and how these ties can iterate between episodes of strong–weak interaction. Scholars and managers should take care not to misinterpret the social capital value or the business value of a tie. 5.2. Testing Proposition 1b Domino's managers use multiple suppliers for strategically important items, but use only a handful of suppliers for more commoditized items. From a relational dependence viewpoint, the highly-skilled nature of Domino's top-tier suppliers dictates that any attempt to move away from these ties would create considerable costs. This dependence increases the risk of over-reliance. Yet a common feature across Domino's relationships is a willingness to sacrifice ties without regard for their strategic importance if the supplier is unable to reduce costs and improve its product and process technologies. A “meet and compete” policy creates a governance mechanism based on expectations and standards. Thus, despite periods of acute relational dependence, the cognitive component of social capital appears to moderate the willingness to sacrifice ties. The relationship might differ with respect to lower-tier suppliers only because the costs of failing to fulfill obligations are less dramatic. This evidence suggests that strong and weak ties are guided by different social capital properties even within the same supply network, thereby supporting Proposition 1b. Inkpen and Tsang (2005) theorize that social capital works differently across different networks, but the evidence presented here suggests that social capital operates differently within the same network according to the properties of the inter-firm linkage. R&D ties in particular appear not to agree with what is currently predicted in the literature. R&D ties exhibit a combination of social capital properties associated with either strong or weak ties that oscillate in frequency, duration, and return vis-à-vis what would be expected in more traditional inter-firm linkages. The ways in which a tie is used and the manner in which its importance oscillates in time appear to depend on the value and urgency of the tie's intended return. A static diagnosis of a firm's buyer–supplier relationships will fail to detect the dynamic characteristics of a tie, leading scholars and managers to oversimplify how a tie is built and how the social capital underpinning it is maintained.