Competence-based business processes within industrial networks: A theoretical and empirical analysis

Getting Better at Sensemaking

ISBN: 978-0-76230-633-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-043-2

ISSN: 1069-0964

Publication date: 2 February 2001


There has lately been increasing discussion revolving around the emerging concepts of organizational competencies, business processes and industrial networks among both academic researchers and practitioners in various fields of management. In our opinion, there should be a systematic aim to bring together the new view of interorganizational business reality offered by the network approach and some basic ideas related to the concepts of organizational competencies and business processes. This could be one way to reach a more complete understanding of the occurrence of competence-based business processes within the relevant network context. On the other hand, this kind of synthesis might prove useful in making the network approach more practically oriented and applicable in real-life organizations. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce an integrative approach to the study of competence-based business processes primarily through the application of concepts and ideas of the network approach. First, key ideas and concepts related to the above-mentioned three theoretical perspectives are discussed and elaborated. Second, an integrative framework is proposed through which an empirical case involving the long-term development of competence-based business processes within industrial networks can be analyzed. Third, the framework is applied empirically in a longitudinal case study of Valmet Inc., a Finnish manufacturer which developed during the post-war period from a producer of weapons to the world's leading producer of paper machines. Fourth, theoretical and managerial implications are put forward on the basis of the authors' understanding gained during the research process.


Alajoutsijärvi, K. and Tikkanen, H. (2001), "Competence-based business processes within industrial networks: A theoretical and empirical analysis", Woodside, A. (Ed.) Getting Better at Sensemaking (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-49.

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