Studying supply chains from a social network perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Social networks often exist among individuals who are boundary spanners in an interorganizational network. These relationships are critical in explaining why interorganizational networks are formed, disintegrate, and succeed or fail. Trust is central in most theories of social network effectiveness, and it should also be true in supply chain networks. This article proposes that supply chain architects consider supply chains that exhibit small world properties. This optimizes trust within the clique, but enables predictions and innovations to "hop" across cliques to other regions in the supply chain. The article concludes by proposing that networks should be studied over time and not as stagnant structures, and highlights a new methodology (SoNIA) for this.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Dynamic network visualization
  • Small-world network
  • Social network analysis
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Marketing


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