n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Exploring the relationship between network competence, network capability and firm performance : a resource-based perspective in an emerging economy

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



Growing interest in business-to-business networks and the demonstrated linkage between firm performance and collaborative efforts within these networks fuels the continued search for a greater understanding of what is needed to manage firms in complex business constellations. Key components of managing in networks, and the focus of this study, are the competencies and capabilities required at the firm level in order to engage in meaningful network relationships to enhance performance. Adopting the resource-based view (RBV) of a firm, an attempt is made to validate measures of network competence and network capability under South African conditions. Secondly, this study considers the relationship between network competence, network capability and subjective measures of firm performance. The analysis is based on data collected using a multi-informant mail survey of 219 business managers in South Africa. Factor analysis and structural equation modelling were utilised to test a conceptual model based on contemporary literature. Our results suggest significant relationships between network competence and network capability, and between network capabilities and firm performance, but not between network competence and firm performance. In addition to providing greater clarity on the relationships depicted in the model, the study also contributes to the rich debate on network management challenges.

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