Third parties as coordinators of organizational networks supported by social relations Terceras partes como coordinadores de redes organizacionales soportadas por relaciones sociales
Academic Article in Scopus
At present, to improve economic competition, businesses work together, coordinated in productive networks supported by service companies that integrate small firm production with the demand of international customers. In the case of the artisan districts of Tonalá and Tlaquepaque in the State of Jalisco, Mexico, these service firms are identified as the "consolidators" or trade intermediaries who handle international commerce procedures and handicraft distribution. The objective of this work was to analyze the role of these consolidators in integrating a social network that facilitates market transactions and production activity improvement. The detailed study of four specific cases made it possible to conclude that consolidators are more than simple brokers; they also act as agents who transfer knowledge, customs and experiences, making the design and manufacture of local handicrafts attractive to international markets. The consolidator also facilitates producer-customer relations, consolidates the production of many manufacturers, negotiates and endorses commercial contracts. The study concludes that consolidators have a critical position in the handicraft network due to their role as coordinators of productive activities and logistics and their contribution to product export and the formation of social capital.