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A dyadic perspective on retailer-supplier relationships through the lens of social capital

Son, B.G., Kocabasoglu-Hillmer, C. & Roden, S. (2016). A dyadic perspective on retailer-supplier relationships through the lens of social capital. International Journal of Production Economics, 178, pp. 120-131. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2016.05.005


Social capital theory has received increasing attention as a lens through which to examine supply chain relationships and the value creation process. Despite the growing application of social capital and its three dimensions, namely cognitive, structural and relational capital, to inter-organizational research, few studies in reality have taken a dyadic perspective. Using a paired sample of retailer-supplier relationships from Korean fast-moving consumer goods sector, we explore the configuration of social capital dimensions, and the impact on strategic and operational performance. The results suggest three clusters of relationships, which differ significantly on at least two of the dimensions of social capital. Furthermore, these clusters show considerable differences with respect to both operational and strategic performance, particularly at the lower levels of social capital. We also examine the impact of a disparity between the retailer and supplier with respect to different dimensions of social capital, henceforth called dissonance. Of the four clusters that emerge, interestingly, only dissonance on the cognitive dimension is related to lower operational and strategic relationship performance. In investigating the implications of dissonance for the retailer and supplier individually, our results suggest that performance differs based on the magnitude and direction of the dissonance. Our results show that consequences of having social capital or not are not necessarily the same for the retailer and the supplier.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Retailer–supplier partnerships; Social capital; Dyads; Partnership performance; Cluster analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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