Finding competent collaborators while executing construction projects overseas is of paramount importance for project success. The partner choice and project performance cannot be understood only from an economic viewpoint because it is constrained by the firms embeddedness in social relations. Based on this premise, this paper provides not only a theoretical explanation of the impact of structural and relational embeddedness on firms economic behaviour and outcomes, but also empirical evidence by analysing the collaborative process among Korean construction firms working overseas during the past 18 years. Three conclusions are drawn. First, the inter-firm network, at least asymptotically, has scale-free network properties with variance. Second, the network retained endogamic characteristics in that a great majority of smaller firms had worked with only one large firm, forming strong subgroups. Last, there is a plausible evidence of the impact of both structural embeddedness and relational embeddedness on profits.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are most grateful to ICAK (International Contractor Association of Korea) for providing useful data for the analysis. The individuals and companies conducting expert interviews or providing valuable comments should be acknowledged. This research was sup- ported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012-0000178) and by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (No. NRF-2013R1A1A1010562). This work also was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2012.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Strategy and Management