Triad in The Companies’ Relational Approach: Managers' Network Awareness, Relational Strategic Orientation, Firm’s Relational Strategy
The ability to collaborate with others in inter-organizational dyads and networks is a source of competitive advantage of a firm today. The question arises however whether managers are aware of this and implement the relational orientation of a firm as a strategic one which results in adopting a relational strategy as the main strategy of the company. To answer this question is the purpose of this paper. An identification of the relationship between managers’ network awareness, relational strategic orientation, and a firm’s relational strategy contributes to the literature on strategic management, in the field of the relational view. The research was carried out on a representative sample of 400 enterprises operating in Poland and on international markets, which is representative of the company’s size. The research tool was a standardized questionnaire, which was filled in by the owners or representatives of the top management. The research results show that high managers’ network awareness encourages them to the strategic orientation of the company on shaping and development of the portfolio of inter-organizational relations creating value. However, this is also determined by an environment, resource constraints, and previous experience related to collaboration and the company's competences in inter-organizational management. If there are attractive entities ready for cooperation with the company, the company has good experience and the competence to build long-term relationships, then the relational strategy becomes the grand strategy (development strategy of the company), setting out its priority directions of building competitive advantage and obtaining the relational rent. On the other hand, if the managers’ network awareness is low, the relational orientation is weak and the relational strategy (if it exists at all) is the functional strategy, which with the marketing, human resources, production, financial and others strategies, supports the implementation of the grand strategy traditionally expressed in terms of product-market choices. The inter-organizational relations are usually short-term and the value is the result of economic transactions.Thus, the managers ’network awareness is an antecedent of the company's relational strategic orientation, which in turn affects the nature and importance of relational strategy in the company.
Keywords - Mangers’ Network Awareness, Relational Strategic Orientation, Relational Strategy, Inter-Organizational Relations, Relational View