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Book part
Publication date: 12 May 2017

Mitsuru Kodama

As a company that has continuously achieved business innovation, Apple in the United States has successfully applied strategic knowledge creation to produce a series of…

Abstract

As a company that has continuously achieved business innovation, Apple in the United States has successfully applied strategic knowledge creation to produce a series of products that integrate various digital devices as well as diverse contents and applications, such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, based on a corporate vision of a digital hub concept. At the same time, the redefining of corporate boundaries that expanded Apple’s business in a horizontal direction from the Macintosh PC business to the delivery of music, smartphones, and tablets is also an indication of the evolution of a corporate vision involving Apple’s strategic transformation. This chapter presents the strategic and creative processes that enabled practitioners, including the late Steve Jobs, to demonstrate “strategic innovation capability” by “holistic leadership” at every level of management at Apple and successfully achieve a business ecosystem strategy through “creative collaboration” across diverse boundaries within and outside the company.

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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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

Tingting Cao, Giorgio Locatelli, Nigel Smith and Lianying Zhang

Megaprojects present an intricated pattern of leadership activities, which evolve over their planning and delivery and comprises several stakeholders. A framework is…

Abstract

Purpose

Megaprojects present an intricated pattern of leadership activities, which evolve over their planning and delivery and comprises several stakeholders. A framework is useful to navigate this complexity; it allows to identify and cluster the key elements. This paper aims to introduce a novel framework based on boundary spanners to describe the structural pattern of shared leadership in megaprojects.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review about boundary spanning and shared leadership is used to identify and cluster the key elements of shared leadership in megaprojects. The systematic literature review provides a rich theoretical background to develop the novel shared leadership framework based on boundary spanners.

Findings

There are three key dimensions characterizing shared leadership topology in megaprojects: stakeholders, boundary spanning leadership roles and project phases. The novel framework shows how project leadership dynamically transfers among different stakeholders, showing the importance of shared leadership as a leadership paradigm in megaprojects.

Research limitations/implications

The novel framework epitomizes shared leadership in megaprojects by exploring its antecedents with social network metrics. This paper stresses that shared leadership is the envisaged form of leadership in megaprojects. By modeling complex project leadership in a simple, yet effective way, the framework fosters critical thinking for future research. The modeling introduced by this framework would also benefit practitioners in charge of megaprojects.

Originality/value

The paper moves the project leadership research to the network-level by taking boundary spanners as shared leadership roles in megaprojects. It shows how shared leadership is a valuable management tool for planning and delivery megaprojects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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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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Book part
Publication date: 3 July 2018

Adina Dudau, Alvise Favotto and Georgios Kominis

This chapter reviews the conditions leading to the emergence of hybrid network structures involved in public service delivery, analyses opportunities for boundary-spanning…

Abstract

This chapter reviews the conditions leading to the emergence of hybrid network structures involved in public service delivery, analyses opportunities for boundary-spanning by network members and frames these against different manifestations of leadership in such collaborative contexts. It addresses a gap in knowledge around leadership in hybrid networks, on the one hand, and around effectiveness of hybrid networks, on the other hand. Following an in-depth case-study of a hybrid network (local safeguarding children boards, LSCB) in England, UK, we advance a researchable proposition according to which, in turbulent times, the effectiveness of such networks is enhanced through one particular leadership type rather than others.

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Hybridity in the Governance and Delivery of Public Services
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-769-2

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2011

Carsten Bergenholtz

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the spanning of inter‐organizational weak ties and technological boundaries influences knowledge brokering.

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2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the spanning of inter‐organizational weak ties and technological boundaries influences knowledge brokering.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on original fieldwork and employs a case study research design, investigating a Danish HTSF's inter‐organizational activities.

Findings

The findings show how an inter‐organizational search that crosses technological boundaries and is based on a network structure of weak ties can imply a reduced risk of unwanted knowledge spill‐over.

Research limitations/implications

By not engaging in strong tie collaborations a knowledge brokering organization can reduce the risk of unwanted knowledge spill‐over. The risks and opportunities of knowledge spill‐over furthermore rely on the nature of the technology involved and to what extent technological boundaries are crossed.

Practical implications

An organization that can span both technological boundaries and weak ties is in a unique knowledge brokering position. The findings indicate how the barriers of an open transfer of complex knowledge across weak ties can be partially overcome by letting an R&D department be the networking department.

Originality/value

Very little research has examined the organizational processes at stake when spanning organizational, technological and network boundaries.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2020

Gareth Robinson, Tony Gallagher, Gavin Duffy and Helen McAneney

This paper aims to demonstrate the transformative potential of school networks in divided societies, where separate schools often mirror wider ethnic divisions. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate the transformative potential of school networks in divided societies, where separate schools often mirror wider ethnic divisions. It describes Shared Education in Northern Ireland, where networks are being utilised to change how Catholic and Protestant schools engage with one another. The concept of boundary crossing is used to frame how staff members build relationships and bridge distinct knowledge communities shaped by socio-cultural practices and identities.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A mixed-methods design was employed. Evidence is presented based on a social network analysis of teacher interactions within a Shared Education partnership of five primary schools in Northern Ireland.

Findings

The findings suggest that school networking can overcome systemic separation in divided societies and provide the infrastructure necessary to establish an alternative model for collegial engagement. The structural characteristics of the observed school network are discussed, including comments on its sustainability, the role of boundary-crossing relationships, the professional value for those involved and its transformative potential for society.

Originality/value

This paper provides a unique perspective on the application and utility of school networks for supporting the development of professional communities in challenging circumstances. It also presents valuable social network data on the structure and management of school networks.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Lars Huemer

The study has two related objectives. At the firm level of analysis, the author proposes that a clearer distinction between firms’ mediating functions and mediators could…

Abstract

Purpose

The study has two related objectives. At the firm level of analysis, the author proposes that a clearer distinction between firms’ mediating functions and mediators could enhance the understanding of business network strategizing. Whereas firms’ mediating functions have received attention in IMP research, less focus has been given to organizations whose core business is mediation. At the system level of analysis, the study complements the perception of a network horizon with that of a network verizon. Whereas the horizon is closely associated with work on firms’ mediating functions, the network verizon is of particular interest to mediators. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual study combines IMP insights with strategic management theory.

Findings

The notion of a network horizon is important for business network strategizing, but also influences the perception of relevant network structures. These structures tend to be characterized by sequential interdependencies and a long-linked technology, often associated with physical products and production facilities. The notion of a network verizon highlights a network “depth” that has been unnoticed by previous work, which has focused on how narrow or wide a firm’s network horizon should be. The network horizon and the network verizon add strategizing options in terms of connecting key actors in the network to create additional value.

Originality/value

This paper concerns how IMP scholars understand boundaries and firms, and how perceptions of these influence business network strategizing. The study articulates a distinction between firms’ mediating functions and those organizations that fundamentally create value through mediating services. This distinction has system-level implications. In particular, the claim that the basis for a firm’s strategizing is its network horizon is discussed. The author proposes the notion of a “network Verizon,” providing a boundary perception of specific relevance to mediators. The network verizon portrays a network depth beyond both sequential tiers in a supply chain and links between different supply chains.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Raymond Caldwell and Coral Dyer

This article positions actor–-network theory (ANT) as a practice perspective and deploys it to explore the performative practices of internal consultancy teams as they…

Abstract

Purpose

This article positions actor–-network theory (ANT) as a practice perspective and deploys it to explore the performative practices of internal consultancy teams as they implemented major programmatic change projects within a global telecommunication company. The change process required the creation of a “change network” that emerged as a boundary spanning and organising network as the consultants sought to implement and translate a highly structured change methodology and introduce new meta-routines within the organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

By combining the methodological datum of ANT to “follow the actors” (whatever form they take) with the guiding principle of practice theory to focus on practices rather than practitioners, the research explored the in-between temporal spaces of performative practices as they unfolded in relation to standardised routines, material artefacts and the tools and techniques of a systematic change methodology. By a method of “zooming out” and “zooming in” the research examined both the larger context of action and practice in which the change network emerged and the consultants' performative practices; but without falling into static macro–micro dualism, or a purely ethnographic “thick description” of practice. The research is based on interviews (25), participant observation and a review of the extensive documentation of the change methodology.

Findings

The findings indicate both how consultants' performative practices are embedded in the social and material arrangements of a change network, and why the intentional, expert or routine enactment of a highly standardised change methodology into practice is intrinsically problematic. Ultimately, the consultants could not rely on knowledge as a fixed, routine or pre-given empirical entity that predefined their actions. Instead, the consultants' performative practices unfolded in temporal spaces of in-betweenness as their actions and practices navigated shifting and multiple boundaries while confronting disparate and often irreconcilable ideas, choices and competing interests.

Research limitations/implications

As an ANT practice perspective, the research blends mixed methods in an illustrative case study, so its findings are contextual, although the methodological rationale may be applicable to other contexts of practice.

Originality/value

The theoretical framing of the research contributes to repositioning ANT as practice theory perspective on change with a central focus on performative practice. The illustrative case demonstrates how a boundary spanning “change network” emerged and how it partly defined the temporal spaces of in-betweenness in which the consultants operated.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Maja Apelt and Jana Hunnius

In their contribution, Maja Apelt and Jana Hunnius ask how the physical proximity of organizations in a network impacts the creation of organizational boundaries. They…

Abstract

In their contribution, Maja Apelt and Jana Hunnius ask how the physical proximity of organizations in a network impacts the creation of organizational boundaries. They assume that against a background of shared experiences, members of organizations can develop a community and cooperate on a basis of trust, but that this is not tantamount to organizational boundaries becoming permeable. Here, Apelt and Hunnius draw on Lefebvre’s (2006) concept of space and adapt this to the practice of organizations by drawing a distinction between three dimensions of spatial practice: spatial practice in the narrow sense, in other words, how the organizations structure the space; organizational practice or, in other words, which formal and informal structures they establish; and representative practice, that is, how they speak about space, legitimize their actions, and thus give them meaning. Empirically, the chapter is based on case studies at two German airports. Using the evidence provided by these studies, Apelt and Hunnius are able to show that the organizations develop different practices. While at one of the airports the community is strengthened, but the organizational boundaries are protected at the same time, the other airport establishes cooperative structures through which the organizational boundaries are weakened. The airport community plays a less important role here.

Details

Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-829-3

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