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Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Study

Incorporating Inter-Firm Social Capital into International Business Theory

  • Open or CloseShaun Cheah1 and Cameron Gordon2*

    1Lecturer, Faculty of Art and Design, University of Canberra, Australia

    2Associate Professor, Research School of Management, Australian National University, Australia

    *Corresponding author:Cameron Gordon, Associate Professor, Research School of Management, Australian National University, Australia

Submission: July 01, 2020;Published: April 6, 2021


This paper explores and provides an understanding of how B-to-B relationships can be better understood by incorporating a Social Capital (SC) framework. It argues that SC dimensions (i.e., relational, cognitive and structural), underpin alliances that are salient to International Business (IB). A synthesis of the literature on B-to-B SC and loyalty into a single, process-based framework is established, together with institutional texture insights for firms to harness and develop for success. The central argument is that investments in relationship building not only enhance B-to-B loyalty but over time fashion the nature and depth of the alliance for the international firm. The paper adds to the literature on international B-to-B collaborations whilst having the potential in providing managerially relevant (“actionable”) results in ‘how’ and in ‘what way’ B-to-B SC can be harnessed in the 21st century IB system.

Keywords: Social capital; International business; Inter firm (B-to-B) collaborations; Loyalty

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