Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance in China

Business networks can play an important role in firm growth, but in many developing countries, limited information sharing systems and poor contract enforcement mechanisms may make it difficult for businesses to establish relationships with the best set of partners. Governments in some developing countries work to address this challenge by organizing business associations that are meant to promote networking. This study evaluates one such program in Nanchang, China in which some firm managers are randomly assigned to participate in small group meetings for one year. Variations in the intervention will offer insight into the mechanism behind the impact of business connections and the optimal design for networking programs.

Delivery partner 
Commission of Industry and Information Technology (CIIT)
Hypotheses/research question 
What is the impact of business networking programmes on firm performance? Do variations in the intervention offer insight into whether and how business networks facilitate information sharing and peer training? How does group composition and meeting frequency break down barriers to business networking by building trust and facilitating information flows?
Study design 
Cai, J., &, Szeidl, A., 2015. 'Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance in China'. Innovations for Poverty Action - Project Registry.