Browsing by Subject "business networks"

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  • Hagberg-Andersson, Åsa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007)
    Economics and Society
    In today’s business one can say that competition does not take place inside the network, but between networks. Change and dynamics are central issues in network studies, and a company, due its changing environment, can identify opportunities and threats and respond to them accordingly. These opportunities are vital, but also complex and demanding for the management. Earlier research has identified a shortcoming in explanations of how the micro-level interactions to macro-level patterns are connected. The IMP-group has been trying to fill this research gap with research on interactions within business networks. In this area of research lies the focus of research on relationships between organizations. Adaptation in cooperation is a central concept within business network research. Adaptation has been dealt with in previous literature, but the focus of the studies has mainly been outside this phenomenon, and it has mostly had a supporting role. Most literature has also described the buyers' point of view in studied supply networks, whereas much less attention has been paid to the suppliers' view on them. This study focuses on this research gap. The results of the study stress that adaptation should be included to a greater extent in the strategy work of companies. The adaptations should be carefully planned and, as far as possible, made consciously. Conscious, well-planned adaptations can be seen as investments into present and future relationships, and resources should be invested into something that does not increase the company’s dependence, but divides the power in the relationship between the companies. Adaptations should be planned so that they result in a more offensive way of responding to the demands that are placed upon the companies. In this way, the actions can be viewed and analyzed in accordance with whether the actions make the company weaker or stronger.
  • Owusu, Richard A. (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003)
    Economics and Society
    Despite thirty years of research in interorganizational networks and project business within the industrial networks approach and relationship marketing, collective capability of networks of business and other interorganizational actors has not been explicitly conceptualized and studied within the above-named approaches. This is despite the fact that the two approaches maintain that networking is one of the core strategies for the long-term survival of market actors. Recently, many scholars within the above-named approaches have emphasized that the survival of market actors is based on the strength of their networks and that inter-firm competition is being replaced by inter-network competition. Furthermore, project business is characterized by the building of goal-oriented, temporary networks whose aims, structures, and procedures are clarified and that are governed by processes of interaction as well as recurrent contracts. This study develops frameworks for studying and analysing collective network capability, i.e. collective capability created for the network of firms. The concept is first justified and positioned within the industrial networks, project business, and relationship marketing schools. An eclectic source of conceptual input is based on four major approaches to interorganizational business relationships. The study uses qualitative research and analysis, and the case report analyses the empirical phenomenon using a large number of qualitative techniques: tables, diagrams, network models, matrices etc. The study shows the high level of uniqueness and complexity of international project business. While perceived psychic distance between the parties may be small due to previous project experiences and the benefit of existing relationships, a varied number of critical events develop due to the economic and local context of the recipient country as well as the coordination demands of the large number of involved actors. The study shows that the successful creation of collective network capability led to the success of the network for the studied project. The processes and structures for creating collective network capability are encapsulated in a model of governance factors for interorganizational networks. The theoretical and management implications are summarized in seven propositions. The core implication is that project business success in unique and complex environments is achieved by accessing the capabilities of a network of actors, and project management in such environments should be built on both contractual and cooperative procedures with local recipient country parties.
  • Tidström, Annika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    Economics and Society
    Most of the existing research within the business network approach is based on companies that are operating on different levels within the same value chain, as a buyer and a supplier. Intercompetitor cooperation, i.e. cooperation between companies occupying the same level within different value chains, has not been studied to the same extent. Moreover scholars within the business network approach have usually described industrial relationships as long term, consisting of mutual commitment and trust. Industrial relationships are not static, but dynamic, and they contain situations of both harmony and conflict. There is consequently a need for more research both concerning intercompetitor cooperation and conflicts. The purpose of this study is to develop our theoretical and empirical understanding of the nature of conflicts in intercompetitor cooperation from a business network perspective. The focus of the study lies on issue and intensity of conflict. The issue of a conflict can be divided into cause and topic, while the intensity comprises the importance and outcome of a conflict. The empirical part of the study is based on two case studies of groups of cooperating competitors from two different industries. The applied research method is interviews. According to the findings of this study causes of conflicts in intercompetitor cooperation can be divided into three groups: focus, awareness and capacity. Topics of conflict can be related to domain, delivery, advertising or cooperation. Moreover the findings show that conflict situations may be grouped into not important, important or very important. Some conflicts may also be of varying importance, meaning that the importance varies from one point of time to another. Based on the findings of the study the outcome or status of a conflict can be analyzed both on a concrete and general level. The findings also indicate that several conflicts are partly hidden, which means that only one or some of the involved actors perceive the conflict. Furthermore several conflict situations can be related to external network actors.
  • Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina; Sauru, Miska Eemil; Pätäri, Satu; Lähtinen, Katja; Tuppura, Anni (2019)
    In transitioning to a renewable material-based bio economy, growing public and industry interest is apparent for using wooden multistory construction (WMC) as a sustainable urban housing solution in Europe, but its business implications are not well understood. In our study, we evaluate, which internal and external factors of competitiveness are shaping the future of WMC, especially in the context of Finland and Sweden. Based on a multi-level perspective of socio-technical transitions, we conducted a three-stage dissensus-based Delphi study. The identified internal and external factors affecting the future competitiveness of the WMC business emphasize the importance of skilled architects and builders and the role of standardized building systems. Based on our results, the key aspects influencing the future competitiveness of WMC in the region are related to the development of technical infrastructure and project-based business networks, while additional changes in regulatory framework are perceived as less important. We conclude that towards 2030, the strong cognitive rules founded in the concrete-based building culture in these countries is likely to inhibit the dynamics of the socio-technical regime level. A change is also needed in the WMC business culture towards more open cross-sectoral collaboration and new business networks between different-sized players.
  • Sandhu, Maqsood (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    The driving force behind this study is the gap between the reality of the firms engaged in project business and the available studies covering project management and business process development. Previous studies show that project-based organizations were ‘immature’ in terms of the project-management ‘maturity model’, as few firms were found to be optimizing processes. Even within those, very little attention was paid to combine inter-organizational and intra-organizational perspectives. In this study an effort is made to elaborate some thoughts and views on project management, which interrelate firms’ external and internal activities. In line with the integration, the dissertation uses an approach to the management of project-business interdependencies in the networks of actors, activities and resources. Firstly, the study develops an understanding for inter-organizational perspectives by exploring the complementarities of process activities in the basic development of project business. It presents a framework that is elaborated on the basis of the reciprocal interactions of activities within and outside the organization—thus providing a coherent basis for continuous business-process improvement. In addition, the study presents new tools that can be used to develop project-business processes in each of its functional areas. The research demonstrates how project-business activities can be optimized using the right resources at the right time with the right actors and the right actions. The selected five articles included in this dissertation explain the basic framework for the development of project business. Each paper covers various aspects of inter-organizational and intra-organizational perspectives for project management. The study develops a valuable and procedural model for business-process improvement using the Delphi method that can be used not only in academia but also as a guide for practitioners that takes them through a series of well-defined steps when making informed, consistent and efficient changes to their business processes.