Title: Matches between network structure and competitive strategies

Authors: Xuefeng Liu; Kenv Yu; Xuefeng Liu

Addresses: School of Management, Xiamen University, No. 422, Siming South Road, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, China ' School of Management, Xiamen University, No. 422, Siming South Road, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, China ' Sellinger School of Management, Loyola University Maryland, 4501 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210, USA

Abstract: Drawing on social network theory and Porter's competitive strategy analysis consistent with extant literature, this study investigates characteristics that leverage the matches between network structure and competitive strategies and explores if the combination of effects can also influence firms' performance. Using data from a special unit within Chinese floricultural cluster, we test the interaction effects between network structure (measured by centrality, structural holes and key ties) and competitive strategies (cost leadership strategies and differentiation strategies) Results show that inter-firm networks with a high degree of centrality should be matched with cost leadership strategies. In addition, these findings indicate that key ties, which may affect how firms process non-redundant resources are a great help to execute cost leadership strategies but are detrimental to the effectiveness of differentiation strategies. Managerial implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: network structure; competitive strategies; key ties; structural holes; network centrality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPM.2019.104063

International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 2019 Vol.19 No.4, pp.420 - 437

Received: 26 Sep 2017
Accepted: 22 Apr 2018

Published online: 07 Dec 2019 *

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