Network Structure and Business Survival: The Case of U.S. Automobile Component Suppliers
We examine how three aspects of network structure affect supplier performance, focusing on relationship duration, supplier autonomy, and customer status. We examine their impact in different competitive contexts by considering differences in the modular and architectural technological characteristics of the components. Using data on all U.S. automotive carburetor and clutch manufacturers from 1918 to 1942, we find that suppliers of architectural goods (carburetors) benefit from long-term relationships, high status customers, and current autonomy. By contrast, only autonomy affects suppliers of modular goods (clutches). This comparison speaks to the contingent nature of the influence of network structure, with the benefits and constraints deriving largely from the nature of the inter-firm routines firms create to coordinate relationships. Relationships requiring extensive sets of inter-firm routines lead to greater benefits and constraints of network structure, while network structure has more restricted influence on relationships requiring less intensive inter-firm routines.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2002|
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