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


  • Son, Byung-Gak
  • Kocabasoglu-Hillmer, Canan
  • Roden, Sinéad


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Son, Byung-Gak & Kocabasoglu-Hillmer, Canan & Roden, Sinéad, 2016. "A dyadic perspective on retailer–supplier relationships through the lens of social capital," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 120-131.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:178:y:2016:i:c:p:120-131
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2016.05.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ojala, Mika & Hallikas, Jukka, 2006. "Investment decision-making in supplier networks: Management of risk," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 201-213, November.
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    5. Lumineau, Fabrice & Henderson, James, 2012. "The influence of relational experience and contractual governance on the negotiation strategy in buyer-supplier disputes," MPRA Paper 38510, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. J Michael Geringer & Louis Hebert, 1991. "Measuring Performance of International Joint Ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(2), pages 249-263, June.
    7. Naresh K. Malhotra & Sung S. Kim & Ashutosh Patil, 2006. "Common Method Variance in IS Research: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches and a Reanalysis of Past Research," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(12), pages 1865-1883, December.
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