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Abstract

This paper is aimed at describing and analyzing the governance structure of a network of small and medium sized businesses in the supermarket sector as well as the social control mechanisms adopted to coordinate the activities carried out by common and diverging actors, on the basis of a model proposed by Jones et al. (1997). The governance is considered a capable tool to regulate any instability originating from divergences, trying to keep the harmony and to strengthen the trust ties within the interorganizational networks. A case study data analysis was carried out. In so doing, the associated members and the network’s manager were interviewed. The dynamics of the network reveals some practices and elements linked with social control mechanisms such as actor’s reputation, entrant members restrict access, macro-culture and the collective sanctions over individual members. By the interpretative exploitation of these questions one can say that, in this case, these mechanisms were a viable alternative of network governance.

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