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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the literature addressing network performance and the factors influencing it. Design – 29 papers published in 18 different journals were systematically reviewed through a multidimensional classification framework based on the strategy-structure-performance paradigm of strategic management. Findings – Based on the outputs of the literature review, a conceptual framework describing network performance is proposed. Following this framework, it is suggested that network performance is the result of the combination of network strategy, network structure and external environmental factors, and not solely the result of network structure which is characterized by five structural elements i.e. network configuration, network membership, network tie, network management and network governance. Moreover, the framework suggests that, in equal context i.e. same network strategy and same external environment, different combinations of these five structural elements lead to different network performance. Implications – Based on these findings, adequate network performance measurement system should include determinants at the level of the network strategy and network structure but also at the level of the external environment. Scope for future research – This study should be extended in order to further investigate the relationships between network strategy and network structure on the one hand and environmental factors on the other hand, but also to further investigate the network strategy, network structure and environmental factors themselves.

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