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Inter-organizational cognitive structures: network conception in MobileTV case

Harri Ryynänen (Department of Business, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland.)
Kaisa Henttonen (Department of Management and International Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland.)
Risto Tapio Salminen (Department of Value Network Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland.)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 June 2015




This paper aims to explore collective cognitive structures in business networks by analyzing the coherency of network pictures in a service development network.


The authors use the network pictures construct as a tool to analyze collective cognitive structures in a service development network. The studied case and unit of analysis is a focal network developing a consumer mobile TV service.


Based on the empirical evidence, the authors found that individuals’ cognitive structures vary extensively in the studied focal network. In addition, collective cognitive structures in intra- and inter-organizational settings differ, and thus should be distinguished.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are based on a single case study. This study is one of the first attempts to apply network pictures as a research device in industrial marketing. The concept of network conception is put forward, distinguishing intra- and inter-organizational levels of collective cognition.

Practical implications

The employed conceptual tool is proposed for application also when forming a business network, where it is important to make all actors’ (i.e. persons and companies) perspectives on the emerging focal business network visible.


To study the focal network-level collective cognitive structures further, the authors propose the concept of network conception to represent the phenomenon. The present study contributes to the research on collective cognitive structures in industrial marketing by extending understanding on individual- and organizational-level cognitions to a focal network-level collective cognition.



Ryynänen, H., Henttonen, K. and Salminen, R.T. (2015), "Inter-organizational cognitive structures: network conception in MobileTV case", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 662-676.



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