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Paper info: Going Beyond Relationships: The Role of Network Orientation in Managing Business Relationships within a Business Network Context

Title


Going Beyond Relationships: The Role of Network Orientation in Managing Business Relationships within a Business Network Context

Authors


Sabrina Thornton

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.

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Abstract


Abstract
This research examines the extent to which a firmís network orientation (NO) contributes to its performance. NO is proposed as a concept to capture a firmís strategic actionstowards its networked environment in which the firm, its counterparts, and numerous other actors are embedded. A preliminary study and some limited support from the literature reveals that being merely market-oriented and/or relationship-oriented is appropriate when dealing with direct interaction partners. The concept of NO will take these developed concepts further to consider the impact associated with other indirectly connected relationships, i.e. taking into account the complexity of network embeddedness. Based on a competence-based and industrial network perspective, this research posits that one needs to take a wider view of the business environment by considering firmsí behaviours at the firm, relationship and network levels in order to better explain theirperformance. This proposal will outline the background and objective of the research, followed by the theoretical framework and the conceptualisation of NO. Subsequently, the hypothesis development of the NO conceptual modelis explicated and the empirical research design is set out as a two-stage research process. Finally, a discussion of the expected contributions to the existing literature and to practitioners will conclude this outline.
Keywords: network orientation, relationship orientation, market orientation, industrial network perspective, competence-based perspective