The evolving role of managerial ties and firm capabilities in an emerging economy : evidence from China

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-595
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number6
Online published9 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


As emerging economies experience unprecedented market and institutional changes, where should firms focus their attention to address new marketing challenges: network-based resources (e.g., managerial ties) or market-based capabilities? Building on institutional theory, this study examines the evolving roles of managerial ties and firm capabilities, as well as their interplay, in China. A longitudinal survey of 166 Chinese firms reveals that over time, the positive role of ties with the government (i.e., political ties) declines, whereas the positive effect of ties with the business partners (i.e., business ties) persists; marketing capability has a persistent effect, and technology capability exerts a stronger impact on performance. Moreover, as market development progresses, marketing capability positively interacts with business ties, whereas technology capability positively interacts with political ties, in fostering performance.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Emerging economy, Firm capability, Institutional theory, Market development, Network ties