Evaluating key capabilities for developing global collaborative networks using a multi-layer decision-making approach


Purpose – This paper proposes a multi-layer hybrid decision-making approach to evaluate the capability alternatives for developing a collaborative network to operate in the international market. Design/methodology/approach – The present study is contextualised in the Iranian pistachio export industry. An extensive review of the state-of-the-art literature on supplier collaboration was conducted to identify key capabilities that are essential to establish a collaborative network. The set of defined capabilities were then optimised through interviews with 14 experts from the relevant industry, academics and export authorities. A combination of the fuzzy Delphi method and the best–worst method (BWM) approach was, respectively, used to reduce the number of capability alternatives and assign priority weights to these alternatives. Subsequently, a weighted aggregated sum product assessment method (WASPAS) was employed to rank and evaluate the ability to creating a collaborative network for the export of pistachio. Findings – From the extant literature review, 18 capabilities for the formation of coordination networks in the internationalmarketswere identified.Then, the prominent indicators in forming a global networkwere extracted. After ranking the top pistachio export countries/regions to formalise an efficient collaborative network, it was revealed that although Iran exports approximately 30% of the global market, it falls behind the USA and European Union. The competitors have scored higher in critical criteria, including “trust and commitment”, “strategy and management”, “managerial control and standardization” and “financial resources”. Originality/value – The proposed hybrid approach encompassing fuzzy Delphi–BWM–WASPAS offers to solve the capability evaluation and selection as well as ranking the possible alternative to formalise a collaborative network in an integrated fashion. This combination of methods is capable to first identify the most important factors, thenmeasuring their importance and eventually rank the possible alternatives. The suggested framework provides an approach to deal with the uncertainty of global collaborative network formation.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Network collaboration, Export network, Fuzzy Delphi method, Best–worst method, Weighted aggregated sum product assessment


Amoozad Mahdiraji, H., Hafeez, K., Abbasi Kamardi, A.A. and Garza-Reyes, J.A. (2021) Evaluating key capabilities for developing global collaborative networks using a multi-layer decision-making approach. Industrial Management & Data Systems,


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)