On boundary spanners and interfirm embeddedness : The role of guanxi institution in China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number100671
Journal / PublicationJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number1
Online published25 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


Based on social embeddedness theory and institutional theory, we construct a research model that depicts how boundary spanners’ personal relationships affect dyadic embeddedness at the organizational level, under the varying influence of guanxi institution across different regions in China. We empirically test our model by analyzing data collected from 225 retail gas stations within the distribution network of a major Chinese petroleum company. Our analysis shows that boundary spanners need to first establish relational ties, which, in turn, influence interfirm dyadic embeddedness. Additionally, the results indicate that the informal institutions, such as guanxi in China, exert an indirect effect on personal trust through personal closeness. The informal institutions also moderate the effects of personal level trust on organizational level trust, which is a key linkage between personal relationship and interfirm embeddedness.

Research Area(s)

  • Boundary spanners, China, Embeddedness, Guanxi institution, Relational ties

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