Shaping and re-shaping social capital in buyer–supplier relationships
journal contributionposted on 05.09.2017, 08:51 by Mathew HughesMathew Hughes, Robert K. Perrons
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.
- Business and Economics