Best prices Special offers for members of the PWE book club The cheapest delivery
DOI: 10.33226/1231-2037.2020.10.1
JEL: D02, L14

Dynamics of forming the network relationships in a supply chain. The triadic perspective

One of the key prerequisites for establishing the network connections in a supply chain is the focus of primary members on core competencies and outsourcing remaining services to the service providers. As a result, the multiple relationships with several actors are established. In the literature, to illustrate the network relationships in a supply chain, the concept of transitive triads has been often employed. Nonetheless, this framework is rather static, as it does not derive the real dynamics of forming the network relationship in the light of the social capital theory for which the concept of triad is a key issue. The paper aims to reveal and describe the stages of forming the network relationships in a supply chain with the use of transitive service triad. The transitive triad encompasses three actors that establish the dyadic relationships between one another. As a result, the transitive triad is formed by three dyadic arrangements.

Download article
Keywords: network; triad; dynamics of network relationships




Achrol, R. S. (1997). Changes in the theory of interorganizational relations in marketing: towards a network paradigm. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25(1), 56–71.

Ballou, R. H. (2004). Business Logistics/ Supply Chain Management. 5th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Barratt, M. (2004). Understanding the meaning of collaboration in the supply chain, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 9(1), 30–42.

Burt, R. S. (2017). Structural holes versus network closure as social capital. New York: Routledge.

Chae, S. (2018). Horizontal versus vertical structural holes in supply networks: Contrasting performance implications for focal firms, Proceedings of the 20th EurOMA Conference, 24–26 June, Budapest.

Choi, T. Y., Wu, Z. (2009a): Triads in supply networks: theorizing buyer-supplier-supplier relationships. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 45(1), 8–25.

Choi, T. Y., Wu, Z. (2009b). Taking the leap from dyads to triads: buyer-supplier relationships in supply networks. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 15(4), 263–266.

Coleman, J. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Dubois, A. (2009). Comment on "Taking the leap from dyads to triads: buyer-supplier relationships in supply networks" by Choi and Wu — To leap or not to leap: triads as arbitrary subsets of networks of connected dyads. Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, 15, 267–268.

Finne, M., Holmström J. (2013). A manufacturer moving upstream: triadic collaboration for service delivery. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 18(1), 21–33.

Hirschheim, R., Lacity, M. (2000). The Myths and Realities of Information Technology Insourcing. Communications of the ACM, 43(2), 99–107.

Karatzas, A., Johnson, M., Bastl, M. (2017). Manufacturer–supplier relationships and service performance in service triads. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(7), 950–969.

Krackhardt, D. (1999). The ties that torture: simmelian tie analysis in organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 16(1), 183–210.

Li, M., Choi, T. Y. (2009). Triads in service outsourcing: bridge, bridge decay and bridge transfer. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 45(3), 27–39.

Liker, J., Choi, T. (2004). Building Deep Supplier Relationships. Harvard Business Review, 82(12), 104–113.

Madhavan, R., Gnyawali, D., He, J. (2004). Two's company, three's a crowd? Triads in cooperative-competitive networks. Academy of Management Journal, 47(6), 918–927.

Mentzer, J. T., Stank, T. P., Myers, M. B. (2007). Why global supply chain management? Global Supply Chain Management, Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Obstfeld, D. (2005). Social networks, the tertius iungens orientation, and involvement in innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50 (1), 100–130.

Obstfeld, D., Borgatti, S. P., Davis, J. P. (2014). Brokerage as a process: decoupling third party action from social network structure. W: S. P. Borgatti, D. J. Brass, D. S. Halgin, G. Labianca, A. Mehra (red.), Contemporary perspectives on organizational social networks. Cambridge: Emerald.

Portier, P. Pardo, C., Salle, R. (2014). From dyad to triad: managing differentiated vs. undifferentiated relationships, 30th IMP Conference, Bordeaux.

Sampson, S. (2000). Customer-supplier duality and bi-directional supply chains in service organizations. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 11(4), 348–364.

Schreiner, A. (2015). Triadic analysis of business relationship's ending: a case study of a dyad and a third actor. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 30(8), 891–905.

Simmel, G. (1950). The sociology of Georg Simmel. New York: Free Press.

Świerczek, A. (2005). Elektroniczne łańcuchy dostaw. Gospodarka Materiałowa i Logistyka, (4), 6–12.

Świerczek, A. (2006). Znaczenie sieci informacyjnej w kształtowaniu organizacji sieciowej. Gospodarka Materiałowa i Logistyka, (6), 16–22.

Świerczek, A. (2012). Zarządzanie ryzykiem transmisji zakłóceń we współdziałaniu przedsiębiorstw w łańcuchach dostaw. Katowice: UE w Katowicach.

Świerczek, A. (2019a). Zarządzanie łańcuchem dostaw w ujęciu zintegrowanym. Warszawa: PWE.

Świerczek, A. (2019b). Manufacturer structural embeddedness and the network rent: the intervening role of relational embeddedness in the triadic supply chains. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 24(3), 334–354.

Świerczek, A. (2020a). Rezylientne łańcuchy dostaw jako złożone systemy adaptacyjne. Warszawa: PWE.

Świerczek, A. (2020b). Relational orientation of triadic supply chains with structural holes: an empirical comparison of rents derived from bridging the structural holes. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 25(5), 565–583.

Świerczek, A. (2020c). Conceptualizing the role of embeddedness in deriving the network competitive advantage of triadic supply chains. Gospodarka Materiałowa i Logistyka, (1), 2–10.

Wynstra, F., Spring, M., Schoenherr, T. (2015). Service triads: a research agenda for buyer-supplier-customer triads in business services, Journal of Operations Management, 35, 1–20.

Zhang, J. J., Lawrence, B., Anderson, C. K. (2015). An agency perspective on service triads: linking operational and financial performance, Journal of Operations Management, 35(3), 56–66.

Article price
Price of the magazine number
As file to download
113.00 €
Lowest price in last 30 days: 91.00
get subscription