Structural investigation of supply networks: A social network analysis approach

Yusoon Kim, Thomas Choi, Tingting Yan, Kevin Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

498 Scopus citations


A system of interconnected buyers and suppliers is better modeled as a network than as a linear chain. In this paper we demonstrate how to use social network analysis to investigate the structural characteristics of supply networks. Our theoretical framework relates key social network analysis metrics to supply network constructs. We apply this framework to the three automotive supply networks reported in Choi and Hong (2002). Each of the supply networks is analyzed in terms of both materials flow and contractual relationships. We compare the social network analysis results with the case-based interpretations in Choi and Hong (2002) and conclude that our framework can both supplement and complement case-based analysis of supply networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-211
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Network indices
  • Network structure
  • Second-tier suppliers
  • Social network analysis
  • Structural analysis
  • Supply chain management
  • Supply networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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