Multidimensionality of Actors in Business Networks: The Influence of Social Action in Pharmacy Networks in Finland

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dc.contributor Svenska handelshögskolan, institutionen för marknadsföring, marknadsföring sv
dc.contributor Hanken School of Economics, Department of Marketing, Marketing en
dc.contributor.author Steinby, Camilla
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-11T11:39:18Z fi
dc.date.accessioned 2011-03-02T13:48:19Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-11T11:39:18Z fi
dc.date.available 2011-03-02T13:48:19Z
dc.date.issued 2009-08-11
dc.identifier.isbn 978-952-232-052-0
dc.identifier.issn 0424-7256
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10227/385
dc.identifier.uri URN:ISBN:978-952-232-052-0
dc.description.abstract In the markets-as-networks approach business networks are conceived as dynamic actor structures, giving focus to exchange relationships and actors’ capabilities to control and co-ordinate activities and resources. Researchers have shared an understanding that actors’ actions are crucial for the development of business networks and for network dynamics. However, researchers have mainly studied firms as business actors and excluded individuals, although both firms and individuals can be seen as business actors. This focus on firms as business actors has resulted in a paucity of research on human action and the exchange of intangible resources in business networks, e.g. social exchange between individuals in social networks. Consequently, the current conception of business networks fails to appreciate the richness of business actors, the human character of business action and the import of social action in business networks. The central assumption in this study is that business actors are multidimensional and that their specific constitution in any given situation is determined by human interaction in social networks. Multidimensionality is presented as a concept for exploring how business actors act in different situations and how actors simultaneously manage multiple identities: individual, organisational, professional, business and network identities. The study presents a model that describes the multidimensionality of actors in business networks and conceptualises the connection between social exchange and human action in business networks. Empirically the study explores the change that has taken place in pharmaceutical retailing in Finland during recent years. The phenomenon of emerging pharmacy networks is highly contemporary in the Nordic countries, where the traditional license-based pharmacy business is changing. The study analyses the development of two Finnish pharmacy chains, one integrated and one voluntary chain, and the network structures and dynamics in them. Social Network Analysis is applied to explore the social structures within the pharmacy networks. The study shows that emerging pharmacy networks are multifaceted phenomena where political, economic, social, cultural, and historical elements together contribute to the observed changes. Individuals have always been strongly present in the pharmacy business and the development of pharmacy networks provides an interesting example of human actors’ influence in the development of business networks. The dynamics or forces driving the network development can be linked to actors’ own economic and social motives for developing the business. The study highlights the central role of individuals and social networks in the development of the two studied pharmacy networks. The relation between individuals and social networks is reciprocal. The social context of every individual enables multidimensional business actors. The mix of various identities, both individual and collective identities, is an important part of network dynamics. Social networks in pharmacy networks create a platform for exchange and social action, and social networks enable and support business network development. fi
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Svenska handelshögskolan sv
dc.publisher Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Economics and Society
dc.relation.ispartofseries 204
dc.rights Publikationen är skyddad av upphovsrätten. Den får läsas och skrivas ut för personligt bruk. Användning i kommersiellt syfte är förbjuden. sv
dc.rights This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited. en
dc.rights Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty. fi
dc.subject emerging business networks, fi
dc.subject social networks fi
dc.subject social action fi
dc.subject business actors fi
dc.subject pharmacy networks fi
dc.subject actorship fi
dc.subject network identification fi
dc.subject actor’s multidimensionality fi
dc.subject identity fi
dc.subject.other Marketing fi
dc.title Multidimensionality of Actors in Business Networks: The Influence of Social Action in Pharmacy Networks in Finland fi
dc.type.ontasot Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Väitöskirja fi
dc.type.ontasot Doktorsavhandling sv
dc.type.dcmitype Text
dc.date.accepted 2009-08-21

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