What is it about?

Recently, in Turkey, a rapidly growing number of firms referred to as Anatolian Tigers, which are are a moderate Islamic group of outward-oriented young entrepreneurial Turkish firms, have exhibited significant success in both their home and foreign market operations. The vibrant activity of this new and fairly widespread entrepreneurial breed has spurred economic development and modernization in second- and third-tier cities across Turkey. The success of the Anatolian Tigers has primarily been associated with their effective network mechanisms, which still need for deeper and more comprehensive research exploring the idiosyncratic characteristics of these networks. There are suggestions that it is the special role of spirituality, which underpins the dedicated commitment of the firms interacting with each other in a close network. Despite previous research employing utilitarian perspectives to explain the antecedents of network commitment, this paper examines the role played by spirituality, a higher-order dimension of human life, in commitment at a network level through applying a survey methodology. A hundred and twenty questionnaires were conducted through face-to-face meetings with owners/managers of the sample firms.

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Why is it important?

The case of the Anatolian Tigers offers an interesting study context for investigating the question of ‘what motivates individuals to commit themselves into networks’ from a different perspective and revealing the role of a spirituality- higher-order dimension of human life in trust building and network commitment. This research significantly contributes to the extant literature which has historically argued that that commitment is driven by utilitarian, profit- and utility-maximizing motivations and economic self-interests. Besides, it is clearly indicated in the relevant literature “we still know very little regarding the particular antecedent conditions that give rise to commitment in networks” (Clarke, 2006, p.1185). Hence this research extends the boundaries of the existing research, by importing spirituality into the network commitment research context and respond firmly to a clear gap in the literature.


This is an important research extending spirituality-commitment research from the organizational to the network level. Despite utilitarian perspectives have dominated previous network commitment research, this research reveals spirituality as another new and significant antecedent condition of network commitment. It opens rooms for further research aiming to understand what motivates individuals to commit into networks and how it might affect network characteristics and outcomes.

Professor Rudolf R Sinkovics
University of Glasgow

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This page is a summary of: Spirituality as an antecedent of trust and network commitment: The case of Anatolian Tigers, European Management Journal, December 2016, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2016.06.011.
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