Networking capability in business relationships - concept and scale development

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Mitrega, Maciej
Forkmann, Sebastian
Henneberg, Stephan C.
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Artigo Científico
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2012
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In previous research on inter-organizational marketing and supply chain management the processes through which a focal company deals with the dynamic nature of its business relationships is not fully addressed or understood. To address this gap in the literature, this study proposes the concept of networking capability (NC) as the complex organizational capability oriented towards managing business relationships along all their main development stages. The main proposition is that such a NC capability exists and can be measured, for various types of business partners (especially customers and suppliers), and that NC represents an important aspect that influences firm performance significantly. In order to define the NC concept and develop as test a measurement model, this study uses empirical research and integrates it with the existing literature on business networking-related capabilities. This study distinguishes itself from previous research on networking-related capabilities which not only utilize activities and routines at the company level to measure relational capabilities, but incorporate instead emotions and attitudes of managers towards their exchange partners. Our study, on the other hand, develops and tests a measurement model of NC that is consistent with a grounding in the resource-based view of the firm, specifically the dynamic capability view of the firm. It thereby contributes to the theory and practice of relationship management by proposing a conceptualization and measurement model of NC with regard to all main relationship stages and main types of business partners. Our study adopts a three-stage process of scale development, including qualitative and quantitative research. In summary, our empirical research suggests our NC measurement model as reliable and valid with regard to two main exchange partners: suppliers and business customers. Nomological validity of NC construct is also supported through regression model with company performance as the dependent variable.

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Industrial Marketing Management
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Inglês
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