Understanding the structural characteristics of a firm’s whole buyer–supplier network and its impact on international business performance

Abstract

Building on the network theory and the concept of organizational ambidexterity, we investigate the impact of structural characteristics of a firm’s whole buyer–supplier network: network density, betweenness centralization, and average clustering coefficient on its international business (IB) performance. We also explore the moderating roles of average path length and PageRank centrality. Using a manually-collected dataset and a robust empirical methodology, we find that, while network density is negatively related, betweenness centralization and average clustering coefficient have an inverted U-shape and a U-shaped relationship with IB performance, respectively. We also find significant moderation effects, and, in the process, we show the economic importance of firms’ whole buyer–supplier network to their IB performance. We contribute to the international business and whole buyer–supplier network literature.

Résumé

En nous appuyant sur la théorie des réseaux et le concept d’ambidextrie organisationnelle, nous étudions l’incidence des caractéristiques structurelles de l’ensemble du réseau acheteur-fournisseur d’une firme : densité du réseau, centralisation des entremêlements et coefficient de regroupement moyen sur la performance de son international business (IB). Nous explorons également les rôles modérateurs de la longueur moyenne du sentier et de la centralité PageRank. En utilisant un ensemble de données collectées manuellement et une méthodologie empirique robuste, nous trouvons que si la densité de réseau est négativement corrélée, la centralisation des entremêlements et le coefficient de regroupement moyen ont respectivement une forme de U inversé et une relation en forme de U avec les performances de l’IB. Nous constatons également des effets de modération significatifs et, ce faisant, nous montrons l’importance économique de l’ensemble du réseau acheteur-fournisseur des firmes pour leurs performances en matière d’IB. Nous contribuons à la littérature de l’international business et de l’ensemble du réseau acheteur-fournisseur.

Resumen

Con base en la teoría de redes y el concepto de organizaciones ambidiestras, investigamos el impacto de las características estructurales de la red de compradores y proveedores de una empresa: densidad de la red, centralización de la intermediación, y el coeficiente de agrupación promedio en el desempeño de los negocios internacionales. También exploramos los roles moderadores la longitud de ruta promedio y la centralidad de PageRank. Usando un conjunto de datos recolectados manualmente y una metodología empírica robusta, encontramos que mientras que la densidad de la red se relaciona negativamente, la centralización de la intermediación y el coeficiente de agrupación promedio tienen una forma de U invertida y una relación en forma de U con el desempeño de los negocios internacionales, respectivamente. También encontramos efectos moderadores significativos, y en el proceso, mostramos la importancia económica de toda la red de compradores y proveedores en su desempeño negocios internacionales. Contribuimos a la literatura de negocios internacionales y de toda la red de compradores y proveedores.

Resumo

Com base na teoria de redes e no conceito de ambidestria organizacional, investigamos o impacto de características estruturais de toda a rede de compradores-fornecedores de uma empresa: densidade de rede, centralização de interdependência e coeficiente médio de agrupamento no desempenho de seus negócios internacionais (IB). Também exploramos os papeis moderadores do comprimento médio do caminho e da centralidade PageRank. Usando um conjunto de dados coletados manualmente e uma metodologia empírica robusta, descobrimos que, embora a densidade da rede esteja negativamente relacionada, a centralização de interdependência e o coeficiente médio de agrupamento têm uma relação com o desempenho de IB, respectivamente, em forma de U invertido e em forma de U. Também encontramos efeitos moderadores significativos e, no processo, mostramos a importância econômica da rede de todos os compradores-fornecedores da empresa para o desempenho em IB. Contribuímos para a literatura sobre negócios internacionais e rede de todos os compradores-fornecedores.

摘要

基于网络理论和组织双元性的概念, 我们研究了公司整个买方-供应商网络的结构特征的影响: 网络密度、介数集中化和平均集群系数对其国际商务(IB)绩效的影响。我们还探讨了平均路径长度和网页排名中心性的调节作用。 使用人工收集的数据集和稳妥的实证方法, 我们发现当网络密度是负相关时, 介数集中化和平均集群系数与IB绩效分别具有倒U形和U形的关系。我们还发现了显著的缓和效应,同时在此过程中, 我们展示了公司的整个买方-供应商网络对其IB绩效的经济重要性。我们为国际商务以及整个买方-供应商网络文献做出了贡献。

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Correspondence to Jun Yan.

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Accepted by Constantine Katsikeas, Area Editor, 10 November 2018. This article has been with the authors for four revisions.

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Sharma, A., Kumar, V., Yan, J. et al. Understanding the structural characteristics of a firm’s whole buyer–supplier network and its impact on international business performance. J Int Bus Stud 50, 365–392 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-019-00215-x

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Keywords

  • whole buyer–supplier network
  • international business performance
  • ambidexterity
  • network structure
  • curvilinear relationship