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The utilisation of network pictures to examine a company's employees' perceptions of a supplier relationship

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Industrial Marketing Management
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)400-412
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Network pictures have been perceived as providing a picture of a company's position within a network ([Ford, D., Gadde, L.E., Håkansson, H., and Snehota, I. (2002), “Managing Networks,” IMP Group in Asia, 11th–13th December.]; [Ramos, C., Ford, D. and Naudé, P., (2005), “Developing Network Pictures as a Conceptual Device,” First Annual IMP Journal Seminar.]). This exploratory paper aims to investigate the application of network pictures at the dyadic relationship level. Taking the perspective of employees from a single company, this research examines the perceptions of a specific supplier relationship. The study takes the network pictures of three key individuals and examines the boundaries of their network pictures, their lines of communication, their perceived relationship atmosphere and the impact of environmental factors. Unsurprisingly, the boundaries of each network picture, the frequency of communication and perceptions of the relationship atmosphere varied systematically with their managerial level and function. In this regard, the findings suggest that network pictures may act as a useful sense-making tool for developing and sharing relationship information both internally, between employees and externally, with the supplier. Further research is required in order to confirm whether these findings are applicable to other dyadic relationships and to investigate the implications of network pictures as a tool for managers.