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Gulati, R., Nohria, N. and Zaheer, A. (2000), Strategic networks. Strategic Management Journal, 21: 203–215


This paper introduces the important role of networks of interfirm ties in examining fundamental issues in strategy research. Prior research has primarily viewed firms as autonomous entities striving for competitive advantage from either external industry sources or from internal resources and capabilities. However, the networks of relationships in which firms are embedded profoundly influence their conduct and performance. We identify five key areas of strategy research in which there is potential for incorporating strategic networks: (1) industry structure, (2) positioning within an industry, (3) inimitable firm resources and capabilities, (4) contracting and coordination costs, and (5) dynamic network constraints and benefits. For each of these issues, the paper outlines some important insights that result from considering the role of strategic networks.