The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of who forms what market assets by making what market investments in a business network.
To investigate what market investments were made by certain actors into resource interfaces as market assets, the author draws on a case network based on an investigation of the Chilean salmon production network. To this end, the author chose the fish – being the focal object resource in that network – as a point of departure. The author systematically investigates the resource interfaces that this resource has with three other specific resources: feed, fishmeal, and vaccines in a thick case study.
This study shows that market investments entail committing resources to resource interfaces which turns them into market assets. Resource interfaces as market assets have implications on how we characterize and value resource interfaces. Multilateral resource interfaces become valuable to firms as a result of continuous market investments made into them. This produces different types of resource interfaces, some of which are of mediatory character bridging between distant resources in a network.
This study focuses on the market investments being made to create and sustain market assets. Of course such assets are linked to a firm’s internal assets which this study do not investigate. In addition, this study emphasizes the commitment of resources into existing resource interfaces, the ensuing creation of market assets, and its use and value for firms and downplays a firm’s need to account for market investments and the market investments required to create a new resource interface.
As resource interfaces are valuable market assets, it is important to understand the functioning of different types of resource interfaces so as to exploit their potential as efficient as possible. This paper shows that some resources act as bridging resources connecting the borders of two indirectly related resources. Controlling bridging resources becomes an essential task for managers in business networks.
Understanding the market investments into resource interfaces enables firms to become more skilled in organizing and controlling networks. These networks can play important roles in the economic development of society and create improved societal conditions for people, organizations, and economies.
By combining a market investment and market asset conceptualization of investments in networks with a resource interaction approach, this paper provides an enhanced understanding of resource interfaces as market assets. Theoretical implications for our understanding of resource interfaces – its value and character – are discussed.
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