Thornton, Sabrina, Henneberg, Stephan C. and Naudé, Peter (2015) An empirical investigation of Network-Oriented Behaviors in Business-to-Business Markets. Industrial Marketing Management, 49. pp. 167-180. ISSN 00198501

This study is concerned with the extent to which network-oriented behaviors directly and/or indirectly affect firm
performance. It argues that a firm's interaction behaviors in relation to an embedded network structure are key
mechanisms that facilitate the development of important organizational capabilities in dealing with business
partners. Such network-oriented behaviors, which are aimed at affecting the position of a company in the
network, are consequently important drivers of firm performance, rather than the network structure alone. We
develop a conceptual model that captures network-oriented behaviors as a driving force of firm performance
in relation to three other key organizational behaviors, i.e., customer-oriented, competitor-oriented and
relationship-oriented behaviors. We test the hypothesized model using a dataset of 354 responses collected
via an on-line questionnaire from UK managers, whose organizations operate in business-to-business markets
in either the manufacturing or services sectors. This study provides four key findings. First, a firm's networkoriented
behaviors positively affect the development of customer-oriented and competitor-oriented behaviors.
Secondly, they also foster relationship coordination with its important business partners within the network.
Thirdly, the effective management of the firm's portfolio of relationships is found to mediate the positive impact
of network-oriented behaviors on firm profitability. Lastly, closeness to end-users amplifies the positive effect of
network-oriented behaviors on relationship portfolio effectiveness.

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