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Bassayannis C.

The purpose of the book Interaction Effects on Product Development Networks in China is to contribute to the understanding of product develop­ment processes within dispersed business-to-business networks that involve business actors in China. This research investigates how these processes initiate and evolve in a dynamic environment. More specifically, it examines the impact of culture in terms of interpersonal interactive relationships on the formation and development of product development processes.

Specifically, the Actors-Resources-Activities (ARA) model of interaction (Hakansson & Snehota 1995) of the business network paradigm is employed in the book Interaction Effects on Product Development Networks in China to analyse relationship pat­terns in low, medium and high-tech product development networks, in terms of actor bonds, resource ties and activity links. Although analyses of the case studies show that there seem to be difficulties for the ARA model to capture and interpret what is in the ʽshadowʼ of direct business interaction processes in China, the main solution is drawn from acknowledging the significance of both the business network and the guanxi network approaches as parallel mechanisms or cross-cutting patterns of explaining evolution of business relationships. Guanxi networks take on a new perspective as they are viewed and analysed from a dynamic lens under product development contexts. In particular, the emergence and refinement of the concept of guanxi as ʽprocess of interactionʼ or ʽprocess of organizationʼ has been a crucial element in the development of IMP thinking.

Managerial lessons in the end of the book Interaction Effects on Product Development Networks in China are drawn by analysing how actorsʼ interactions influence product and technology co-creation, and how business actors nurture, develop and maintain relationships in China. Findings show that non-business interactive processes at the interpersonal network level influence significantly the formation of activity links, re­source interfaces and actor bonds at the inter-organisational level. Hence, accounting for non-business interaction and the socio-cultural features in nurturing, developing and maintaining relationships offers a complimentary approach to contemporary busi­ness network research practice.

AbstractΣελ. VII
AcknowledgementsΣελ. IX
ContentsΣελ. XI
List of TablesΣελ. XV
List of FiguresΣελ. XVI
1.0 Research ProblemΣελ. 2
1.1 Research GapΣελ. 3
1.2 Theoretical ContributionΣελ. 5
1.3 Structure of the ThesisΣελ. 7
Literature Review  
2.0 IntroductionΣελ. 14
2.1 The Business Network ParadigmΣελ. 18
2.2 Product Development and the Knowledge NetworkΣελ. 28
2.3 Outsourcing and the Supply NetworkΣελ. 38
2.4 The Interactive Nature of RelationshipsΣελ. 42
2.5 Guanxi Relationships and the Guanxi NetworkΣελ. 51
2.6 ConclusionΣελ. 67
2.7 Research ImplicationsΣελ. 74
Philosophical and Methodological Choices  
3.0 IntroductionΣελ. 78
3.1 Knowledge as Social PracticeΣελ. 81
3.2 Philosophical StanceΣελ. 88
3.3 Is There a Universal Theory for Network Studies?Σελ. 97
3.4 The IMP Approach to Network StudiesΣελ. 99
3.5 Case Study Research and Systematic CombiningΣελ. 101
3.6 Alternative Methodological ChoicesΣελ. 107
3.7 Choice of Data GenerationΣελ. 111
3.8 Analysis Methods Σελ. 117
3.9 Selection of Case StudiesΣελ. 118
3.10 Social Sampling and Data SourcesΣελ. 121
3.11 ConclusionΣελ. 123
Industry Definition and Context  
4.0 IntroductionΣελ. 126
4.1 Chinese EconomyΣελ. 127
4.2 Industry DefinitionΣελ. 130
4.3 Product Development ContextΣελ. 131
4.4 Networks in Multiple Case StudiesΣελ. 131
Empirical Findings  
5.0 Introduction to Multiple Case Studies ResearchΣελ. 134
Case Study One (CS1) 
5.1 Interactive Relationships Among UK Buyer and First-Tier Suppliers in ChinaΣελ. 136
5.1.1 A Social Network Analysis of a UK-Chinese Product Development 
NetworkΣελ. 140
5.1.2 Network Perceptions - A Qualitative InquiryΣελ. 144
Case Study Two (CS2) 
5.2 Downstream and Upstream Interactive Relationships of a Foreign-owned High-tech Manufacturer in GuangzhouΣελ. 152
Case Study Three (CS3) 
5.3 High-tech Product Development Networks of a Mobile Phone Component Manufacturer in Southern ChinaΣελ. 157
Case Study Four (CS4) 
5.4 Interpersonal Aspects of Relationship Formation and Development: The Case of a Chinese State-owned Tobacco Manufacturer and a Western SupplierΣελ. 162
Case Study Five (CS5) 
5.5 Formation and Development of Supply Networks in China: The Case of a Western Textile Manufacturer in ChinaΣελ. 166
5.6 ConclusionΣελ. 170
Discussion of Findings  
6.0 IntroductionΣελ. 174
6.1 Analysis of Empirical Findings - Case Study 1Σελ. 175
6.2 Analysis of Empirical Findings - Case Study 2Σελ. 177
6.3 Analysis of Empirical Findings - Case Study 3Σελ. 179
6.4 Analysis of Empirical Findings - Case Study 4Σελ. 181
6.5 Analysis of Empirical Findings - Case Study 5Σελ. 183
6.6 Comparative Discussion of Findings from Case StudiesΣελ. 185
6.7 Guanxi as Process of InteractionΣελ. 191
6.8 Theorising for Business Interaction in ChinaΣελ. 193
6.9 Complementary Modes of Analysing InteractionΣελ. 195
6.10 A Model for Evaluating Supplier Network PerformanceΣελ. 197
6.11 ConclusionΣελ. 200
Conclusion and Future Research  
7.0 IntroductionΣελ. 202
7.1 Theoretical ImplicationsΣελ. 202
7.2 Managerial ImplicationsΣελ. 204
7.3 Future ResearchΣελ. 207
A: Literature Review MethodologyΣελ. 219
B: Example of Interview TranscriptΣελ. 221
C: Interview Consent FormΣελ. 228
D: Participant Information SheetΣελ. 229
E: Open-Ended InterviewsΣελ. 230
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