Activation in resource networks: a comparative study of ports

Debbie Harrison (Norwegian School of Management BI, Oslo, Norway)
Håkan Håkansson (Norwegian School of Management BI, Oslo, Norway)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The paper seeks to provide an example of how new business unit resources can activate previously passively connected networks of resources.


Two case studies are used, both of which are examples of new business unit resources being embedded into, and also changing, existing resource networks. The cases are organised around issues of the existing network prior to the introduction of the new resource and how resources can become valuable from within a network.


The paper provides details of two business unit resources being embedded in existing resource networks. In both cases, ports are changed from passive to active actors. There are consequences for a set of existing resources when a new actor activates these in relation to a number of specific counterparts. Further, the value of single resources can be enhanced when they are combined in new ways. The main finding is that the value of resources is closely connected to how newly created actors are able to activate networks of existing yet passively connected resources.

Research limitations/implications

Both cases are concerned with business unit resources rather than a mixture of types.


This paper is a study of how new business unit resources become embedded in existing resource networks while simultaneously activating those networks.



Harrison, D. and Håkansson, H. (2006), "Activation in resource networks: a comparative study of ports", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 231-238.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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