What is it about?

The notion of social capital or embeddedness has received increased attention in the field of supply chain management. However, although embeddedness has both a structural and a relational aspect, the structural has received more focus. In addition, circumstances that may affect the development of social capital, and the role and import of a focal firm's supply management function on aspects of social capital, remain unclear.

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Why is it important?

The results of this study suggest a mechanism through which social capital affects firm performance, and indicate that the supply management function may contribute to sustainable competitive advantage. The study confirms that the relational embeddedness aspect of social capital should be treated as a critical antecedent to performance. It also highlights the potential role of the supply management function in developing social capital in dyadic network interactions.


Social capital enables people to work together and facilitates cooperation and innovation. In a time where organizations add a digital fabric connecting their resources and data-driven decision-making becomes increasingly more critical, social capital becomes more vital than ever. Supply chain professionals and organizations that ignore the importance of social capital are missing an opportunity and risking failure in a digitally transformed organizational society. Social capital plays a crucial role also on issues ranging from sustainable initiatives to navigating volatile and disruptive supply chains and economic times with corporate partners.

Ednilson Bernardes
West Virginia University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: THE EFFECT OF SUPPLY MANAGEMENT ON ASPECTS OF SOCIAL CAPITAL AND THE IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE: A SOCIAL NETWORK PERSPECTIVE, Journal of Supply Chain Management, January 2010, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-493x.2009.03185.x.
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