Getting partners to take action: Influences on joint action in interfirm relationships

Document Type


Publication Title

Competitiveness Review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the nature of joint action between firms, and to examine how interfirm linkages impact the development of information systems that impact joint action. The research also examines how economic dependence impacts joint action or joint activities between firms. While the importance of interfirm relations has been widely acknowledged, the relationships between buyers and suppliers can vary widely on the amount of joint action they undertake with each other. Design/methodology/approach – Using structural equation modeling, the authors test a model of influences on joint action that incorporates elements of social norms that develop between partners, their economic dependence on each other, and a coordination mechanism of shared information systems. Findings – The findings indicate that joint action is influenced indirectly by some elements of social exchange, and instead is directly impacted by economic dependence and information systems. Social norms, specifically commitment, do impact the development of shared information systems. Research limitations/implications – This is a single industry study of automotive parts and accessories firms. Care should be taken in generalizing these findings to firms in similar settings – relatively small suppliers to larger assemblers or manufacturers. Originality/value – The value of this research is to help understand the elements of interfirm relations, their impact on information systems, the overall impact of these on joint action or joint activities between firms, and the role of economic dependence.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.