A Relational Approach to Matching Interfirm Exchanges between Sme Executives and Corporate Business Executives

By Kushins, Eric R. | Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, Fall 2016 | Go to article overview

A Relational Approach to Matching Interfirm Exchanges between Sme Executives and Corporate Business Executives


Kushins, Eric R., Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship


INTRODUCTION

Interfirm economic exchanges, transactions and alliances are found to be critical to SME growth (Barringer & Greening 1998). Research on these exchanges has increasingly focused on social networks and governance mechanisms. Researchers have suggested that various exchange relations-from short-term, routine transactions to long-term, complex alliances-require different types of controls to curb opportunistic behavior (Williamson, 1985, 1991). These mechanisms are typically identified as either formal contracts that are legally enforced, or informal relations that involve shared social norms, trust, and reciprocity (Poppo & Zenger, 2002; Zhou, Poppo, & Yang, 2008). Within the context of governance mechanism selection, it is believed that the stronger the ties two individuals or firms have to each other, the greater the chance SMEs have to develop interfirm alliances (BarNir & Smith, 2002) and the more likely that firms will not pursue opportunistic behaviors (Hoetker & Mellewigt, 2009).

Rather than viewing economic exchanges according to network ties, trust and ways in which opportunistic behavior may be held in check, a cultural approach to economic exchanges that emphasizes relational work can identify how shared meanings of interpersonal relationships shape inter organizational transactions (Zelizer, 2012). A relational work perspective provides us a framework by which we can understand how interfirm relationships develop, why different types of interfirm exchanges take place between different kinds of firms, and how certain exchange media are appropriately selected to facilitate those exchanges.

In order to contribute to the literature on SMEs and interfirm exchanges, this study reports on interviews with executives from SMEs and large corporations in the chemical industry who regularly engage in a variety of interorganizational exchanges. These relationships and transactions are analyzed using the concept "good matches," developed by economic sociologist Viviana Zelizer. In this model, individuals negotiate different kinds of relationships with appropriate types and forms of economic exchanges to define and reinforce affiliations. Originally developed to explain a variety of interpersonal relationships, this study extends Zelizer's model to account for the different patterns of communication within and between executives at transacting partner firms. The data suggests that intra- and inter-firm patterns of communication are critical components to understanding relationship formation and exchange decisions. This study puts forth an interfirm model of exchange that accounts for the complexity of relational work in interfirm transactions and provides a framework for assessing the appropriate economic transactions that may improve the likelihood of successful exchange outcomes.

The research reported here identifies how the close relationships SME owners and managers form with executives of large business (hereafter referred to as "corporate" businesses) uniquely influence economic exchanges. Three implications are developed from the findings. First, interfirm relationships between SME business executives and corporate executives are enabled by industry events and encouraged by SMEs themselves. More specifically, the exposure and regular contact between SME executives' and corporate executives' families fosters sentiment and relational trust. Second, corporate executives look to SME business executives to develop time-sensitive, nonroutine, short-term transactions and long-term strategic alliances. These complex transactions are enabled by: 1. corporate executives' access to SME executives, and 2. informal and rapid SME organizational decision-making. The third implication is that SMEs can take advantage of the desire corporate executives have to form relationships between executives' families, resulting in relations with high levels of sentiment. SME executives' commitment of time and resources to fostering strong emotionally laden relationship with corporate executives can provide SMEs with a competitive advantage when pursuing interfirm business deals with corporate executives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Relational Approach to Matching Interfirm Exchanges between Sme Executives and Corporate Business Executives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.