Connectivity, control, and constraint in business markets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Much research in the social network literature has argued that firm action is to a large extent socially embedded and that social networks that pervade industry structures have an important bearing on individual firm action (e.g., Braudel, 1985; Granovetter, 1985; Macaulay, 1963). In line with this basic insight, marketing scholars tend to agree that exchange in business markets has a social dimension. Despite the convergence on this general statement, there has been hardly any exploration, let alone systematic evidence, regarding the mechanisms through which social networks impact exchange in business markets. The prior literature is dispersed and lacks focus, particularly regarding the actual mechanisms at work. The first objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of some of the network control mechanisms that have been distinguished in prior literature and discuss the conditions under which different mechanisms are likely to be mobilized and be effective. The second objective of this chapter is to highlight the flipside of control: Social networks can constrain firm behavior and outcomes and lead to inferior exchange conditions. The chapter is organized around these two important themes: (a) connectivity and control and (b) connectivity and constraint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Connected Customer
Subtitle of host publicationThe Changing Nature of Consumer and Business Markets
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781135176914
ISBN (Print)9781848728370
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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