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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Frans Prenkert

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ontological implications of combining network and system ontology to conceptualize industrial networks as the empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the ontological implications of combining network and system ontology to conceptualize industrial networks as the empirical manifestations of complex adaptive economic systems.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper contributes with a systematic discussion on how network and system ontology can be combined to produce better understandings of business networks. It also provides a review of the state-of-the art research literature on the topic as a starting point for the discussion.

Findings

Findings indicate that networks may be enclosed in each other constituting sub- and supra-networks comprising increasing complexity. In these cases, sub-networks that are black-boxed can be seen as entities in themselves producing inputs and outputs to the supra-network. Networks, once they become black-boxed, can assume the functions of generative mechanisms within a wider supra-network.

Research limitations/implications

This research is conceptual in nature and needs to be complemented with empirical research. In addition, the literature review used one database complemented with papers from the IMP journal. A wider search could reveal additional research that can be of relevance for the development of the field.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the ontological and methodological issues arising from a mixed system and network ontology. These issues are commonly ignored or dealt with indirectly in extant literature. For any accumulation of knowledge in the field to be possible, the explication of a mixed ontology is important as it have conceptual and methodological consequences. Adopting such a mixed ontological position provides an ontology in line with empirical research of business practice.

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Fredrik Karlsson, Ella Kolkowska and Frans Prenkert

The purpose of this paper is to survey existing inter-organisational information security research to scrutinise the kind of knowledge that is currently available and the…

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1306

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to survey existing inter-organisational information security research to scrutinise the kind of knowledge that is currently available and the way in which this knowledge has been brought about.

Design/methodology/approach

The results are based on a literature review of inter-organisational information security research published between 1990 and 2014.

Findings

The authors conclude that existing research has focused on a limited set of research topics. A majority of the research has focused management issues, while employees’/non-staffs’ actual information security work in inter-organisational settings is an understudied area. In addition, the majority of the studies have used a subjective/argumentative method, and few studies combine theoretical work and empirical data.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that future research should address a broader set of research topics, focusing especially on employees/non-staff and their use of processes and technology in inter-organisational settings, as well as on cultural aspects, which are lacking currently; focus more on theory generation or theory testing to increase the maturity of this sub-field; and use a broader set of research methods.

Practical implications

The authors conclude that existing research is to a large extent descriptive, philosophical or theoretical. Thus, it is difficult for practitioners to adopt existing research results, such as governance frameworks, which have not been empirically validated.

Originality/value

Few systematic reviews have assessed the maturity of existing inter-organisational information security research. Findings of authors on research topics, maturity and research methods extend beyond the existing knowledge base, which allow for a critical discussion about existing research in this sub-field of information security.

Details

Information & Computer Security, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4961

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Frans Prenkert

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.

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2771

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Social implications

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.

Originality/value

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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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2018

Johan Kask and Frans Prenkert

Retail has evolved over the past century alongside megatrends such as urbanization, consumerism and digitalization. To contribute to existing knowledge on patterns of…

Abstract

Purpose

Retail has evolved over the past century alongside megatrends such as urbanization, consumerism and digitalization. To contribute to existing knowledge on patterns of retail form evolution, the purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how novel retail forms have evolved in the Swedish sporting goods market.

Design/methodology/approach

An evolutionary approach that encompasses population thinking is used to interpret the history of sporting goods retailing in Sweden from the interwar era onwards. Drawing on archival data and interviews, the focus in the historical analysis is on the evolution of retail form variation in terms of size, strategy, product range and retail channel (online/offline).

Findings

The paper suggests that evolutionary mechanisms cumulatively have changed the sports retail population from a rather homogenous set of smaller generalist stores toward a larger variety and specialization in mainly two directions: one trajectory toward small and service-focused niche specialists and the other toward high-volume sales outlets.

Originality/value

The paper provides a detailed empirical account of sports retail history in Sweden and an application of theoretical concepts contributing to an integrated investigation of empirical issues and theoretical positions. It concludes that being able to attain “closures” – finding ways to close off a section of the market and avoid direct competition – has historically been a crucial capability for individual retailers to thrive.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Frans Prenkert and Lars Hallén

The purpose of this article is to explore possible contributions to the development of models to define business networks conceptually, and identify and delineate them…

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2075

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore possible contributions to the development of models to define business networks conceptually, and identify and delineate them empirically by integrating concepts and ideas from “market exchange theory” originating in the works of Alderson.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a conceptual discussion defining business networks as a type of exchange system, empirical data were used to exemplify and illustrate the theoretical development ideas. From data on 22 business firms collected in 1999‐2001 in the form of transcribed interviews and other print documentation, a business network as a type of exchange system was identified comprising five business entities. This case serves as illustration to the remainder of the theoretical discussions throughout the paper.

Findings

Based on a conceptualisation of business networks as a type of exchange system and a notion of interaction encompassing exchange processes stemming from both market exchange theory and social exchange theory, it is suggested that business networks can be more consistently identified and delineated empirically using this theoretical base.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical case is merely illustrative, and more extensive empirical work is needed to further test the ideas of business networks as a type of exchange system. The implications to the study of markets‐as‐networks are that these ideas can be used as a basis for identification, delineation and analysis of business networks.

Originality/value

This paper extends Alderson's work by suggesting a fourth type of transformation: transformation in ownership, as well as by developing a typology with five resource types in the exchange system. Furthermore, it provides a conceptual tool that can be used by researchers to identify, delineate and analyse business networks and incorporates market exchange theory.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Frans Prenkert

The aim of this paper is to provide a solid theoretical base to the study of paradox in organized activity. It draws upon activity theory to show the managerial and…

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4327

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide a solid theoretical base to the study of paradox in organized activity. It draws upon activity theory to show the managerial and analytical potential of the activity systems model (ASM) as a systematic tool to analyze paradox in organizational practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology employed in the study can be described as a longitudinal multiple case study approach. The focal organization was followed over a period of three years. About 25 interviews and 50 participatory observations were made. Text documents were analysed using an analytical tool developed from theory – the “Analysis Readiness Review (ARR)” – to structure and categorize data.

Findings

This study shows that the locus of paradox can be empirically identified within and between the constituent elements of an ASM, and that the consequence of such paradox is the emergence of a new genetically more evolved ASM. Hence, paradox in organized activity will eventually usher in change, such as the rearrangement of the elements of organized activity, and the replacement of one or many of those elements.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited in that it models only two principal types of contradictions in activity systems, both of which are inner contradictions intrinsic to the activity system in question. The case study is merely indicative and more empirical research is needed to further extend our knowledge of paradox in various types of organized activity.

Originality/value

Managers can utilize the ARR‐tool as a systematic checklist to identify the elements of the organizational practice and to locate paradoxes. In doing so, they can actively take part in shaping the dialectical processes of change that the paradoxes create, by paying attention to the contradictions present in the activity system. This is the challenge to management that paradoxical organizational practice poses, and this paper provides one tool to help managers and researchers to better face this challenge.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2017

Kristin B. Munksgaard, Per Ingvar Olsen and Frans Prenkert

Boundary setting is identified as an important and highly useful factor, both in management practice and in dealing with phenomena in management research. It has…

Abstract

Boundary setting is identified as an important and highly useful factor, both in management practice and in dealing with phenomena in management research. It has significant implications for how circumstances and phenomena will be analysed and interpreted. Change – moving or change in nature – is a key factor in all attempts to strategise and economise. The authors argue that boundary setting is critical in analysing and interpreting business problems, both in the practice of management and in business research. The nature and function of boundaries vary. It can be exemplified with two archetypes of organisation – the integrated hierarchy and the connected company. In the first, the basic principle for boundary setting is buffering to protect the company from external variations. In the second type, it is bridging – connecting the company with specific changing factors. One important consequence is that when analysing and handling boundaries, both location and permeability become the central aspects to consider.

Details

No Business is an Island
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-550-4

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2017

Abstract

Details

No Business is an Island
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-550-4

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Pierre Louart, Rita Durant, Alexis Downs and Dominique Besson

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668

Abstract

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Antonella La Rocca

Downloads
959

Abstract

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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