Based on data from 248 asymmetric subcontractor-customer relationships in Finland, this study analyzes the direct impact of relationship structures, relational capital, and the subcontractor's relationship-specific investments on the improvement of operational relationship performance. In addition, the study investigates the moderating role of relational capital on the links between relationship structures, relationship-specific investments, and relationship performance improvement. We found that both relational capital and relationship-specific investments directly affect the relationship performance improvement, while relationship structures do not. However, relational capital positively moderates the link between relationship structures and relationship performance improvement by creating enabling structures. Thus, our findings contribute to the existing literature and discussion on enabling organizational and relationship structures by demonstrating how relational capital changes the role and impact of relationship structures. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
- Business relationships
- Enabling structures
- Inter-organizational networks
- Relationship-specific investments
- Social capital