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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Caroline Cheng and Elsebeth Holmen

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the relationship and networking strategy tools in the IMP literature. It proposes six dimensions for characterizing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the relationship and networking strategy tools in the IMP literature. It proposes six dimensions for characterizing such tools: approach to tool development, level (and layer) of analysis, perspective of interaction, activities of network strategizing, external or internal orientation and use for “strategizing on” vs “strategizing in” relationships and networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a manual qualitative content analysis approach and an inductive approach, well suited for extracting relationship and networking strategy tools due to their implicit and dispersed nature.

Findings

The paper presents an IMP toolbox comprising a wide variety of relationship and networking strategy tools emphasizing interconnectedness, interdependence and limited managerial autonomy, as well as an analysis of how identified tools are positioned along each of the six proposed dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes a conceptual framework with a vocabulary to content analyze and discuss relationship and networking strategy tools in IMP research.

Practical implications

The IMP toolbox may be a useful point of departure for managers who feel a need for developing and using a mix of tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks.

Originality/value

The paper instills a strategy tool lens in the IMP literature and foregrounds strategizing concepts and techniques that were previously difficult to attend to for both researchers and practitioners.

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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: 3 July 2017

Anna-Greta Nyström, Joachim Ramstrom and Jan-Åke Törnroos

The purpose of this paper is to study how insights from socio-cognitivism (sensemaking and interaction) in conjunction with institutional theory enhance our knowledge of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how insights from socio-cognitivism (sensemaking and interaction) in conjunction with institutional theory enhance our knowledge of strategizing in business networks through role and position.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual and reviews extant literature from the fields under scrutiny, presenting and analyzing new combined approaches.

Findings

Current writings concerning strategizing in networks need to be supplemented in the area of strategic business network research. Interaction, sensemaking and institutionalization, as well as the network in which a firm is embedded, are important for strategically developing network positions and the roles of actors.

Research limitations/implications

This conceptual paper suggests mechanisms affecting role and position in networks and calls for empirical research to deepen the understanding of the change forces at play in embedded relational situations for firms.

Originality value

This study adds to current conceptual knowledge of strategizing in business networks. It presents a comprehensive perspective in viewing how key forces impact on the strategic position and role of corporate actors (both managers and firms) in networks.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Understanding Interactive Network Branding in SME Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-977-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Helen McGrath and Thomas O'Toole

The purpose of this paper is to identify the early stage network engagement strategies that new ventures use to gain traction in interaction in the development of network

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the early stage network engagement strategies that new ventures use to gain traction in interaction in the development of network capability.

Design/methodology/approach

Using 24 new ventures in the micro-brewing industry in Ireland, Belgium and the USA as an empirical base, the authors use an inductive case study approach owing to the exploratory nature of the research aim and the lack of prior literature in the area.

Findings

The findings suggest five early stage network engagement process strategies in network capability development: business-to-business network prospecting; co-branding/co-promoting activities; from maker-mindset to adapting; social media platforming; and recognition and activation of network role.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to the micro-brewery sector at one point in time, although in multiple country contexts. Analyzing other sectors and taking a temporal view of strategizing, analyzing the sector at another time point, would show how dynamics in engagement change as the actors acquire new experiences from interaction.

Practical implications

The potential to gain from network resources and the paucity of these resources in new ventures makes early stage engagement strategizing for network capability development an attractive business strategy for new firms. All firms are born within a social network that has economic importance. Identifying the five early stage network engagement strategies can mitigate the challenge for the new venture in moving from the initial social network to collaborating within wider business networks to gain access to resources, technology and customers.

Originality/value

Strategizing in new venture contexts is a relatively new stream of research for the industrial marketing and purchasing group. This paper adds to the growing body of literature that places interaction, relationships and networks at the heart of strategy making and provides important insights for new ventures, which may lead to earlier and greater success for the firms. The authors respond to calls for increased research addressing capability development in a new venture context and for research to take a more interactive perspective on new venture processes.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Poul Andersen, Elsebeth Holmen and Ann-Charlott Pedersen

Networks and relationships are not stable. On the contrary, they change and are transformed by the actors who take part in them. Change and transformation result from the…

Abstract

Purpose

Networks and relationships are not stable. On the contrary, they change and are transformed by the actors who take part in them. Change and transformation result from the actions and reactions of these actors. However, a key issue is what makes the actors choose some actions and reactions while refraining from others. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors argue that the actors’ expectations to the future of the network are formative for the actions and reactions and, furthermore, that the future expectations are formed by interaction among the actors that take part in the networks.

Findings

The authors depart from the existing foresight literature, but realign its ideas to fit with the core tenets of the IMP approach. Thereby, the purpose is twofold: to explore and conceptualize network foresight phenomena as well as to contribute to the practice of collective foresighting in business networks.

Research limitations/implications

The authors suggest research into formations of expectations in networks with a specific view to the interactive and structural effects of networks. Furthermore, the authors suggest a framework for categorizing network episodes and linking these to the formation of recognized issues and solutions.

Practical implications

The authors provide a framework for analyzing the focus of business networks in terms of solutions and issues, and analytically breaking down the interaction among these.

Originality/value

The authors introduce the concept of business network foresight, both as a distinct concept that enables us to understand change and transformation in networks, but also as a procedure for supporting actors’ strategizing efforts in business networks.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Eric J. Bolland

Abstract

Details

Strategizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-698-4

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Book part
Publication date: 27 August 2014

Juho-Petteri Huhtala, Pekka Mattila, Antti Sihvonen and Henrikki Tikkanen

Over the past 50 years, a substantial interest has been put to research on how innovation spreads within social networks over time (see Rogers, 1962, 2010). Our initial…

Abstract

Over the past 50 years, a substantial interest has been put to research on how innovation spreads within social networks over time (see Rogers, 1962, 2010). Our initial aim was to examine innovation diffusion in industrial networks. We operationalized the research through a case study of an advertising network by using systematic combining as the approach (Dubois & Gadde, 2002, 2014). From the initial focus of innovation diffusion, the rematching of data and theory led us to focus on the barriers of innovation diffusion. By doing so, we found out that multilevel strategizing appears to be an important phenomenon in understanding dynamics of innovation diffusion within industrial networks. Specifically, strategizing occurs in two levels: (1) the groups within the network compete for position, and (2) actors within a group compete for position by trying to differentiate themselves from other group actors. A strategic mismatch between the two levels leads the network to become decelerated or even static in diffusing new innovations (Abrahamsen, Henneberg, & Naudè, 2012). Uncovering these findings would not have been possible without the use of systematic combining and the constant matching between theoretical and empirical domains.

Details

Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-business Marketing and Purchasing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-080-3

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Julia Hautz

While strategy was traditionally perceived as exclusive, and limited to small groups within organizations, recently a shift toward greater openness through inclusion of a…

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Abstract

Purpose

While strategy was traditionally perceived as exclusive, and limited to small groups within organizations, recently a shift toward greater openness through inclusion of a larger number and variety of actors is emerging. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a social network perspective to develop a theoretical framework on how this increased openness has a varying impact in the different phases of the strategy process.

Design/methodology/approach

The author suggests that the strategy process is shaped through social interactions between individuals. Specifically the author conceptualizes how introducing openness affects individuals’ structural and relational characteristics, which impact generating new strategic ideas (variation), and selecting (selection), and integrating them into the existing set of routines (retention).

Findings

The framework shows that benefits and costs of increased openness balance differently. While substantial benefits may be realized in the idea generation phase, costs may outweigh the benefits in the selection and retention phase.

Practical implications

Based on the framework, implications can be drawn on how openness should be introduced in the different phases of the strategy process. Specifically the author discusses appropriate open strategy tools based on social technologies, which organizations can use to benefit from openness in the different stages.

Originality/value

Open strategy is a newly emerging phenomenon, which seems to fundamentally change the strategist’s work. More open, inclusive ways of strategizing offer new benefits but also create costs in the strategy process. This paper deepens the theoretical understanding of the consequences of openness in the strategy process.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 55 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 28 April 2021

Liisa Välikangas and Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa

There is a dearth of research addressing network failures, and in particular failures of large-scale organizational networks that pursue radical innovation or grand…

Abstract

There is a dearth of research addressing network failures, and in particular failures of large-scale organizational networks that pursue radical innovation or grand challenges through collaboration. Yet these failures manifestly exist with potential learnings for network participants. In this chapter, the authors consider three major network failures that have been identified in prior research and in the ongoing empirical work. The authors term the failures stalling – not getting started in collaborative work, strategizing – using the network opportunistically to serve other goals than what the network was formed for, and siloing – the network falling short of its collective capacity to learn and innovate due to its lack of connectivity and communication. After describing these three seminal failures in networks of independent organizations, the authors consider the implications for high ambition network collaboration – whether radical innovation or a grand challenge. The authors ask: what do these failures suggest in terms of network participation that would help contribute to network realizing its objective? How should the individual participants of these large-scale organizational networks mitigate failure and maintain the founding ambition, and the performance of the network? What available models for learning are there for the network participants?

Details

Work Life After Failure?: How Employees Bounce Back, Learn, and Recover from Work-Related Setbacks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-519-6

Keywords

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