Firm’s Partnership and Competitive Advantage

Junsei Kado


This study examines the effectiveness of the theory of structural embeddedness adopted to partnership networks analysis for studying how a firm’s partner relationships contribute to the competitive advantage. Three major ERP(Enterprise resource Planning) package vendors in Japan, which have significant partner relationships as one of their characteristics, are analyzed as a comparative case study. First, their partnership networks are analyzed based on the resource based view theory, then an analysis is added based on the structural embeddedness theory which can complement shortfalls of the resource based view theory.
The conclusion of this study is as follows:
1) From the perspective of resource based view theory, an ERP package vendor that has open relationships structure with its partners does not have the differentiation advantage compared to an ERP package vendor that has close relationships structure with its partners 2) Otherwise, from the perspective of structural embeddedness theory, the former type ERP package vendor has ‘Opportunity Advantage’ compared to the latter type ERP package vendor.
That ‘Opportunity Advantage’, a capability to get more business opportunities, has been not clearly examined in the traditional resource based view theory. However, by analyzing partnership networks of the ERP package vendors in Japan based on the structural embeddedness theory, this study makes the difference clear among the ERP package vendors concerning ‘Opportunity Advantage’ capabilities.


Resource Based View, Structural Embeddedness Theory, ERP Package Vendor, Partnership Network, Partner Relationships

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