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Paper info: The role of relational capabilities in the organization of international sourcing activities

Title


The role of relational capabilities in the organization of international sourcing activities

Authors


Alessandro Pagano
University of Urbino
Italy
Alessandro Pagano

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.

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Abstract


This paper proposes a relational capability framework to investigate the main organisational patterns in managing international sourcing activities by multinational companies (MNCs). Specifically, this framework will be adopted in order to examine the current understanding - developed in the academic literature - of intra-organisational mechanisms supporting international sourcing activities concerning products, technologies and knowledge. The literature review is based on the analysis - for the period 1995-2007 - of 31 leading journals in management studies. The results of the review show that limited research has been conducted on the development of relational capabilities by MNCs in the area of international sourcing. While the concept of "relational capability" is increasingly debated in the literature, contributions in the international management field have neglected the organisational dimension of the MNCs' external relations. The relational capability framework adopted in this paper - whose components are functions, control and management processes, tools and external parties - has proven an effective tool to highlight the main elements of the "institutionalized" organizational knowledge in the management of external relations.