The competitiveness of entrepreneurial firms from a network perspective
MetadataShow full item record
The competitive- ness of firms cannot be fully understood if the firm’s embeddedness in larger socioeconomic systems is ignored (Lorenzoni, 1992). Apart from firm-level effects, there exists thus a variety of factors that can drive firm- level performance (Meyer, 1991).The question ‘Why do some firms perform better than others?’ or ‘Why do some firms survive and others not?’ is thus complex. For matters of simplicity, we can distinguish between three levels of effects on firm performance (see Lechner, 2000): 1. firm-level effects; 2. firm-constellation effects; 3. regional- or national-level e ects. The study of relational effects for a firm’s competitiveness can be distinguished from firm-level effects insofar as it concerns the perform- ance effects that arise through the relationships with other constituencies leading to relational resources rather than firm resources (e.g. while firms can access information through relations with another firms and while this information can be integrated into the firm, the resource ceases to exist with the end of the relationship); that is, they constitute a resource base outside the firm’s boundaries that are dependent on the existence of the relationship. However, if firm-constellation effects are important for understanding firm performance and what firms are actually doing, then one can also understand the relational view from an organizational perspective (Lorenzoni, 1992). Networks of firms are to be understood as an organizational field (DiMaggio, 1986). This organizational field starts from a central unit and comprises all nodes of interaction with other firms. An organizational perspective of interfirm relations introduces the notion of organizational contingencies on the link between a firm’s strategy and performance. In this sense a central question is how differ- ent competitiveness effects are related, for example firm-competitiveness effects and firm-constellation effects and how this interplay is effected by processes in time.