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Processes of value co-creation in networks: an empirical study of local business networks in Denmark

Mette Apollo Rasmussen (Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 29 October 2020

Issue publication date: 29 July 2021



There is no agreement in the network literature about how participating in networks is of value. This article aims to explore the underlying dynamics that form and support the process of value co-creation in networks.


The article draws together symbolic interactionism and organizational ethnography to outline a research approach illustrating how participation in networks becomes valuable. The empirical data were collected through fieldwork over two in two local business networks in Denmark.


The case study illustrates how participants in local business networks struggle to make participation valuable. The article shows how networks can be considered joint spheres for value co-creation. Three main arguments supporting value in networks stands out from the research: (1) Leadership as a collective achievement supports processes of value co-creation; (2) Develop a shared but dynamic focus and (3) Participation is valuable when supporting participants' daily worklife.


The article builds up a creative analytical framework based on symbolic interactionism making an important contribution about how participants experience value in networks.



Thank you to the two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable feedback in strengthening this article. The author is grateful to all the participants, who gave valuable contributions to this paper. All names have been changed to protect the identities of participants.


Rasmussen, M.A. (2021), "Processes of value co-creation in networks: an empirical study of local business networks in Denmark", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 123-140.



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