The Relational View in SCM Research

Published in 1998, The relational view: Cooperative strategy and sources of interorganizational competitive advantage by Dyer and Singh remains one of the most influential business papers. Ten years later, the authors discussed their paper in an interview with They argue that “the main contribution of the [paper] was that it outlined a theory for considering dyads and networks of firms as a key unit of analysis for explaining superior individual firm performance”. The relational view extends both the industry structure view (unit of analysis: industry) and the resource-based view (unit of analysis: firm), because from this view a critical resource can span firm boundaries. The four sources of interorganizational competitive advantage identified by the authors are: (1) relation-specific assets, (2) knowledge-sharing routines, (3) complementary resources/capabilities, and (4) effective governance. While researchers are still searching for the paradigm of SCM research, the relational view can be an important building block to explain the supply and demand network. The relational view has later been extended by Lavie (2006).

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About Andreas Wieland

Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

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