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Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2008

Enrico Baraldi and Torkel Strömsten

The role of management control has not received sufficient attention in the literature on value creation so far. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the role of…

Abstract

The role of management control has not received sufficient attention in the literature on value creation so far. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the role of control in value creation in industrial networks. More specifically, the aim is to examine the management and control of interfaces between key resources within and between firms, in the networks surrounding firms, when they attempt to create value. All the firms that take part in a value-creation process have both formal and informal control systems: these firms have budgets, specific routines, reward systems, and sanctioned “ways to behave.” The paper relates the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) group's research on interaction, relationships, and networks with control literature, and presents a framework for controlling resource interfaces in a network setting. Two in-depth cases illustrate the role of control in value creation. The first case covers the development of a low-weight newspaper grade that Holmen and its paper mill Hallsta initiated. The second case examines the attempt to develop and commercialize a new, energy efficient pulping technology.

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Creating and managing superior customer value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-173-2

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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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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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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2005

Magnar Forbord

In every industry there are resources. Some are moving, others more fixed; some are technical, others social. People working with the resources, for example, as buyers or…

Abstract

In every industry there are resources. Some are moving, others more fixed; some are technical, others social. People working with the resources, for example, as buyers or sellers, or users or producers, may not make much notice of them. A product sells. A facility functions. The business relationship in which we make our money has “always” been there. However, some times this picture of order is disturbed. A user having purchased a product for decades may “suddenly” say to the producer that s/he does not appreciate the product. And a producer having received an order of a product that s/he thought was well known, may find it impossible to sell it. Such disturbances may be ignored. Or they can be used as a platform for development. In this study we investigate the latter option, theoretically and through real world data. Concerning theory we draw on the industrial network approach. We see industrial actors as part of (industrial) networks. In their activities actors use and produce resources. Moreover, the actors interact − bilaterally and multilaterally. This leads to development of resources and networks. Through “thick” descriptions of two cases we illustrate and try to understand the interactive character of resource development and how actors do business on features of resources. The cases are about a certain type of resource, a product − goat milk. The main message to industrial actors is that they should pay attention to that products can be co-created. Successful co-creation of products, moreover, may require development also of business relationships and their connections (“networking”).

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Managing Product Innovation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-311-2

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2020

Viktoria Sundquist and Lisa Melander

This paper aims to investigate how various organizational interfaces between firms, units and functions, and the interplay between them, are developed and mobilized in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how various organizational interfaces between firms, units and functions, and the interplay between them, are developed and mobilized in product development processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework is based on the industrial network approach, including interactive resource development and the concept of organizational interfaces. A single case study is conducted at a world-leading industrial tool manufacturer, illustrating how resources are combined over time, crossing boundaries of firms, units and functions in the development of a hand-held digitalized tool for quality assurance in the production of cars. Data have been collected through semi-structured interviews, with additional data in the form of project reports, internal documents and practices for external collaboration.

Findings

In addition to inter-organizational interfaces, the study identifies a typology of scouting, embarking and integration interfaces at unit level (geographically spread units of one multinational corporation) and interpretation and reciprocal interfaces at function level. The conclusions show that these interfaces affect the outcome of three aspects of the product development process: product characteristics and functionality features, system integration and organizational network extent. Existing interfaces serve as a platform for developing interaction further and provide the interfaces with new content, thus moving between different types of interfaces. Product development processes also involve new interfaces where there was no previous interaction between the parties.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for the interplay between interfaces in cases involving multiple external and internal actors in resource combining efforts.

Practical implications

External interactions between firms influence and impact internal activities and resources. Managers need to be aware of the complex interdependencies between external and internal interfaces and resources. Managing organizational interfaces is about both exploiting established interfaces and developing new ones. Consequently, existing interfaces may be activated differently to align with new interaction purposes, which, in turn, requires efforts to combine resources according to the new conditions.

Originality/value

Previous research contains a typology of organizational interfaces between customers and suppliers. The study expands on this research by identifying internal interfaces between units and functions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Book part
Publication date: 29 May 2018

Min Tian

The chapter pays specific attention to the organizing and reorganizing process of the embedding of new technology. The aim is to increase the understanding of how a focal…

Abstract

The chapter pays specific attention to the organizing and reorganizing process of the embedding of new technology. The aim is to increase the understanding of how a focal technology is incrementally aligned into a customer’s different business settings. Embedding becomes subject to intense organizing efforts. It becomes a struggle with activating different features of the focal technology by forging and modifying the resource interfaces between the focal technology and customer resources.

The organizing efforts are about seeking, in an explorative mood, for resource interfaces between the focal technology and the customer resources. This organizing process enables the identification of new adaptation opportunities for technology embedding processes, whereby the focal technology obtains certain feature and values.

A systematically developed knowledge of resource interfaces is a key for activating different features of the focal technology and thereby facilitating its embedding into the customer’s various business settings. This is described in a single case study in the chapter. This case and the analysis show how a supplier and a customer struggle with developing resource interface knowledge to activate the different features of the focal technology, thereby facilitating its embedding process. The first part of the chapter establishes a theoretical framework, followed in the second part by the case study and analysis. The concluding discussion emphasizes the importance of understanding and managing various interfaces as part of the organizing processes.

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Organizing Marketing and Sales
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-969-2

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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2005

Fredrik von Corswant

This paper deals with the organizing of interactive product development. Developing products in interaction between firms may provide benefits in terms of specialization…

Abstract

This paper deals with the organizing of interactive product development. Developing products in interaction between firms may provide benefits in terms of specialization, increased innovation, and possibilities to perform development activities in parallel. However, the differentiation of product development among a number of firms also implies that various dependencies need to be dealt with across firm boundaries. How dependencies may be dealt with across firms is related to how product development is organized. The purpose of the paper is to explore dependencies and how interactive product development may be organized with regard to these dependencies.

The analytical framework is based on the industrial network approach, and deals with the development of products in terms of adaptation and combination of heterogeneous resources. There are dependencies between resources, that is, they are embedded, implying that no resource can be developed in isolation. The characteristics of and dependencies related to four main categories of resources (products, production facilities, business units and business relationships) provide a basis for analyzing the organizing of interactive product development.

Three in-depth case studies are used to explore the organizing of interactive product development with regard to dependencies. The first two cases are based on the development of the electrical system and the seats for Volvo’s large car platform (P2), performed in interaction with Delphi and Lear respectively. The third case is based on the interaction between Scania and Dayco/DFC Tech for the development of various pipes and hoses for a new truck model.

The analysis is focused on what different dependencies the firms considered and dealt with, and how product development was organized with regard to these dependencies. It is concluded that there is a complex and dynamic pattern of dependencies that reaches far beyond the developed product as well as beyond individual business units. To deal with these dependencies, development may be organized in teams where several business units are represented. This enables interaction between different business units’ resource collections, which is important for resource adaptation as well as for innovation. The delimiting and relating functions of the team boundary are elaborated upon and it is argued that also teams may be regarded as actors. It is also concluded that a modular product structure may entail a modular organization with regard to the teams, though, interaction between business units and teams is needed. A strong connection between the technical structure and the organizational structure is identified and it is concluded that policies regarding the technical structure (e.g. concerning “carry-over”) cannot be separated from the management of the organizational structure (e.g. the supplier structure). The organizing of product development is in itself a complex and dynamic task that needs to be subject to interaction between business units.

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Managing Product Innovation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-311-2

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2012

Ron Sanchez

In this paper we extend established concepts of product and process architectures to propose a concept of organization architecture that defines the essential features of…

Abstract

In this paper we extend established concepts of product and process architectures to propose a concept of organization architecture that defines the essential features of the system design of an organization needed to achieve an effective strategic alignment of an organization with its competitive and/or cooperative environment. Adopting a work process view of organization, we draw on concepts of product and process architectures to elaborate fundamental elements in the design of an organization architecture. We suggest that organization architectures may be designed to support four basic types of change in organization resources, capabilities, and coordination, which we characterize as convergence, reconfiguration, absorptive integration, and architectural transformation. We also suggest the kinds of strategic flexibilities that an organization must have to create and implement each type of organization architecture. We identify four basic types of strategic environments and consider the kinds of changes in resources, capabilities, and coordination that need to be designed into an organization's architecture to maintain effective strategic alignment with its type of environment. We then propose a typology that identifies four basic ways in which organizational architectures may be effectively aligned with strategic environments. Extending the reasoning underlying the proposed alignments of organization architectures with strategic environments, we propose a strategic principle of architectural isomorphism, which holds that maintaining effective strategic alignment of an organization with its environment requires achieving isomorphism across a firm's product, process, and organization architectures. We conclude by considering some implications of the analyses undertaken here for competence theory, general and mid-range strategy theory, and organization theory.

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A Focused Issue on Competence Perspectives on New Industry Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-882-3

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Luis Araujo, Lars-Erik Gadde and Anna Dubois

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical account of the evolution of the purchasing and supply management (PSM) field from the perspective of resource

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2148

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical account of the evolution of the purchasing and supply management (PSM) field from the perspective of resource interfaces between buying firms and their suppliers. This historical account is then used as a platform to develop a framework for understanding of the capabilities required to manage a cluster of resource interfaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an historical survey of practices and ideas in the PSM field to develop a theoretical argument on capabilities to manage resource interfaces between buying firms and their suppliers.

Findings

The paper proposes a framework linking learning, interactive capacity and interactive capability as they evolve through the interplay between resource interface type, organizing principle and technology strategy.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes a conceptual framework focussing on the capabilities that underpin the management of individual resource interfaces.

Practical implications

The paper offers the following practical implications: first, the firm needs to consider what type of interface applies in the relationships with its suppliers: second, the firm needs to consider its technological strategy in light of its current supplier interfaces and organizing principles: third, the internal as well as external organizing needs to be aligned with what the firm proposes to achieve from its supplier relationships and be congruent with the interfaces deployed to manage those relationships: fourth, interacting with suppliers is a matter of learning regarding the outcomes of the interaction as well developing interactive capacities and capabilities.

Originality/value

The paper provides a first attempt to go beyond the characterization of individual resource interfaces in buyer-supplier relationships, to look at the capabilities required to manage multiple resource interfaces and the dynamics underpinning paths of development for those capabilities.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Paul Alonso Gaona-García, David Martin-Moncunill and Carlos Enrique Montenegro-Marin

This paper aims to present an overview of the challenges encountered in integrating visual search interfaces into digital libraries and repositories. These challenges come…

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2339

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an overview of the challenges encountered in integrating visual search interfaces into digital libraries and repositories. These challenges come in various forms, including information visualisation, the use of knowledge organisation systems and metadata quality. The main purpose of this study is the identification of criteria for the evaluation and integration of visual search interfaces, proposing guidelines and recommendations to improve information retrieval tasks with emphasis on the education-al context.

Design/methodology/approach

The information included in this study was collected based on a systematic literature review approach. The main information sources were explored in several digital libraries, including Science Direct, Scopus, ACM and IEEE, and include journal articles, conference proceedings, books, European project reports and deliverables and PhD theses published in an electronic format. A total of 142 studies comprised the review.

Findings

There are several issues that authors did not fully discuss in this literature review study; more specific, aspects associated with access of digital resources in digital libraries and repositories based on human computer interaction, i.e. usability and learnability of user interfaces; design of a suitable navigation method of search based on simple knowledge organisation schemes; and the use of usefulness of visual search interfaces to locate relevant resources.

Research limitations/implications

The main steps for carrying out a systematic review are drawn from health care; this methodology is not commonly used in fields such as digital libraries and repositories. The authors aimed to apply the fundamentals of the systematic literature review methodology considering the context of this study. Additionally, there are several aspects of accessibility that were not considered in the study, such as accessibility to content for disabled people as defined by ISO/IEC 40500:2012.

Originality/value

No other systematic literature reviews have been conducted in this field. The research presents an in-depth analysis of the criteria associated with searching and navigation methods based on the systematic literature review approach. The analysis is relevant for researchers in the field of digital library and repository creation in that it may direct them to considerations in designing and implementing visual search interfaces based on the use of information visualisation.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2022

Ruiqi Wei, Roisin Vize and Susi Geiger

This study aims to explore the interactions between two different and potentially complementary boundary resources in coordinating solution networks in a digital platform…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the interactions between two different and potentially complementary boundary resources in coordinating solution networks in a digital platform context: boundary spanners (those individuals who span interorganizational boundaries) and boundary interfaces (the devices that help coordinate interfirm relationships, e.g. electronic data interchanges, algorithms or chatbots).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a multiple case study of three firms using digital platforms to coordinate solution networks in the information communication technology and lighting facility industries. Data were collected from 30 semi-structured interviews, which are complemented by secondary data.

Findings

As task complexity increases, smarter digital interfaces are adopted. When the intelligence level of interfaces is low or moderate, they are only used as tools by boundary spanners or to support boundary spanners’ functions. When the intelligence level of interfaces is high or very high, boundary spanners design the interfaces and let them perform tasks autonomously. They are also sometimes employed to complement interfaces’ technological limitations and customers’ limited user ability.

Research limitations/implications

The industry contexts of the cases may influence the results. Qualitative case data has limited generalizability.

Practical implications

This study offers a practical tool for solution providers to effectively deploy boundary employees and digital technologies to offer diverse customized solutions simultaneously.

Originality

This study contributes to the solution business literature by putting forward a framework of boundary resource interactions in coordinating solution networks in a digital platform context. It contributes to the boundary spanning literature by revealing the shifting functions of boundary spanners and boundary interfaces.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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