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Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2011

Morten H. Abrahamsen

The study here examines how business actors adapt to changes in networks by analyzing their perceptions or their network pictures. The study is exploratory or iterative in…

Abstract

The study here examines how business actors adapt to changes in networks by analyzing their perceptions or their network pictures. The study is exploratory or iterative in the sense that revisions occur to the research question, method, theory, and context as an integral part of the research process.

Changes within networks receive less research attention, although considerable research exists on explaining business network structures in different research traditions. This study analyzes changes in networks in terms of the industrial network approach. This approach sees networks as connected relationships between actors, where interdependent companies interact based on their sensemaking of their relevant network environment. The study develops a concept of network change as well as an operationalization for comparing perceptions of change, where the study introduces a template model of dottograms to systematically analyze differences in perceptions. The study then applies the model to analyze findings from a case study of Norwegian/Japanese seafood distribution, and the chapter provides a rich description of a complex system facing considerable pressure to change. In-depth personal interviews and cognitive mapping techniques are the main research tools applied, in addition to tracer studies and personal observation.

The dottogram method represents a valuable contribution to case study research as it enables systematic within-case and across-case analyses. A further theoretical contribution of the study is the suggestion that network change is about actors seeking to change their network position to gain access to resources. Thereby, the study also implies a close relationship between the concepts network position and the network change that has not been discussed within the network approach in great detail.

Another major contribution of the study is the analysis of the role that network pictures play in actors' efforts to change their network position. The study develops seven propositions in an attempt to describe the role of network pictures in network change. So far, the relevant literature discusses network pictures mainly as a theoretical concept. Finally, the chapter concludes with important implications for management practice.

Details

Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-024-7

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

William Degbey and Elina Pelto

The paper aims to examine the consequences of a cross‐border acquisition on business network changes in the Russian bakery industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the consequences of a cross‐border acquisition on business network changes in the Russian bakery industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs the IMP group's network approach to analyse the empirical single case study with two embedded sub‐cases.

Findings

The empirical study offers a typology on the forms of network change that may be triggered by mergers and acquisitions (M&As), while the conceptual framework broadens understanding of the change sequence and reciprocal interaction among actors, activities, resources and the external environment, with implications for network change analysis.

Research limitations/implications

While the theoretical position developed fits the unique characteristics of the case studied in the industry and country settings, it is necessary to be cautious in generalising the study beyond this context.

Practical implications

For managers of merging parties to garner superior performance from the network changes they initiate, it is critical for them to have precise insights into their network. Other connected actors must also adapt to the changes triggered by the merging parties, if they want to maintain their network positions.

Originality/value

For academicians, the paper attempts to broaden the understanding of different forms of network change that M&As may evoke. For practitioners, it offers a picture of what internal and external adjustments may be required of them following an M&A.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

Annmarie Ryan, Ingrid Kajzer Mitchell and Sofia Daskou

This paper aims to present an interactions and networks approach (INA) to the issue of change for sustainability, which can bring business out of the firm‐centric impasse…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an interactions and networks approach (INA) to the issue of change for sustainability, which can bring business out of the firm‐centric impasse and lead to collaborative action and transformation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds upon the extant relational theories in management, and presents a holistic multi‐level framework (the system/network, issue‐based or strategic nets, dyadic relationships and the network organization) to conceptualize change for sustainability.

Findings

By adopting INA business is able to discuss: the nature and role of the network in building systems level change; the role of dyadic relations as a central mechanism for change; and the nature of organizational level capabilities necessary to enhance learning for sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

Areas of future inquiry include examination of the dynamics of intra‐stakeholder relationships over time, specifically the development of actors' attitudes, behavior and cognition in business networks alongside how actors perceive and capitalize on network embedded learning. Further scholarly attention in these areas can further the appreciation of how an INA can assist in building more sustainable organizational futures.

Practical implications

The paper builds on the concept of “ecological literacy” at an organizational level, and considers the specific capabilities required including network visioning, orchestration and the ability to perceive the “other” as partners in creating new market realities. Moreover, it discusses the role and importance of firm “change agent power” in this regard.

Originality/value

By building on an INA approach, the paper provides an important conceptual stepping stone towards the ongoing realization of sustainable organization and market forms.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2020

Bella Butler and Sharon Purchase

This paper aims to investigate business network activity patterns and how they change when actors experience tensions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate business network activity patterns and how they change when actors experience tensions.

Design/methodology/approach

Four tensions, developed from previous literature, are considered in relation to how they influence activity patterns. A longitudinal case study focusing on the modernization of an international airport illustrates how tensions experienced by actors influence changes in activity patterns.

Findings

Results highlight that when tensions in relation to network position are experienced activity patterns are more likely to break and form new patterns. When multiple tensions are experienced within the same period, an old activity pattern is more likely to be broken and the new activity pattern develop.

Research limitations/implications

Contributions in relation to interdependencies between activities heighten the impact of changes leading to the breaking of existing patterns, particularly the importance of coordination activities. These findings are context specific because activity patterns vary according to the industry.

Practical implications

Practical implications indicate that understanding network interdependences within the change process is important, particularly for co-ordination activities. The study informs practitioners about possible outcomes while tensions are experienced. This study found that when actors are experiencing multiple tensions, breaking of activity patterns is more likely to occur while experience less tensions extending existing activity patterns becoming more likely.

Originality/value

Contributions are made in relation to gaps in investigating the business network activity layer and their changes in relation to tensions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2018

Vasco Eiriz and José Carreiras

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evolution of a supply network and the causes of network change and stability. It presents the study of a supply network of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the evolution of a supply network and the causes of network change and stability. It presents the study of a supply network of Delphi Braga (Portugal), one of the largest European plants producing car-radios, navigation system and other related products, in order to understand how it changed over time. The paper contributes to the understanding of network management.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study was carried out on a network of five suppliers of Delphi Braga adopting a relational view of networks meaning that both parties of the relationships were studied. Data and results are based on document sources and interviews with managers both from Delphi and the studied suppliers.

Findings

The causes of network change and stability are both exogenous and endogenous. They are multiple and have different impacts on network structures and processes. The paper analyses several causes of network change and their impact on the studied supplier network.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a single case study. Although the studied supplier network comprises several firms, it should be pointed out that each network has its own dynamics and structures. Therefore, though the paper makes a relevant contribution for network management, the results cannot be generalized for other networks and firms.

Practical implications

Managers should be aware of the dynamics of their supplier networks and understand the different impacts of both their firm’s decisions as well as the environment changes. By doing this, managers can anticipate changes in the structure and dynamics of their supplier networks.

Originality/value

This case study contributes to our current understanding of relationship development both at the dyadic and network level by analyzing the case of a supply network in a major European plant of car-radios and navigation systems. It discusses implications and proposes further research to advance knowledge on the topic of network change.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 56 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2020

Yoritoshi Hara

This study aims to examine changes in “network logics” that refer to cognitive views socially accepted by actors about the network. These logics provide organizations with…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine changes in “network logics” that refer to cognitive views socially accepted by actors about the network. These logics provide organizations with templates on how to act in business networks. This study investigates the causes and processes of network logic changes and the phases in the changes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study relies on content analysis using text data from newspaper articles on global retailers entering the Japanese retail industry. Three different logics were found to describe the actions of the retailers. Two of the logics are related to institutional and strategic logics including network logics, while the third is associated with institutional works that mean actions to create, maintain and disrupt institutions.

Findings

With regard to transitions in network logics in the Japanese retail industry, the analysis identified four phases: politicization, reflection, establishment and evaluation. Changes in regulative and normative logics were resulted from institutional works of the global retailers into the Japanese market. The findings also include empirical description about how network changes progress through interactions among business actors. Additionally, compared to the regulative and normative logics, it would be difficult to influence the cultural-cognitive logics.

Originality/value

Business networks often transform with changes in network logics. This study contributes to the literature on industrial network changes by exploring the interactions between macro-level structural states and micro-level events in network logic transitions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

William Y. Degbey and Elina Pelto

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the forms of change that horizontal and vertical mergers and acquisitions (M & As) may evoke in acquired firms’ customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the forms of change that horizontal and vertical mergers and acquisitions (M & As) may evoke in acquired firms’ customer networks. M & As have increasingly become a dominant mechanistic growth path,pursued relentlessly by companies with varying attributes. However,acquiring a firm does not automatically imply that the market position of the acquired firm and its networks can be taken over,as conventionally held.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of two qualitative interview-based case illustrations.

Findings

The illustrative empirical cases within the context of this study suggest that customer network changes may be rapid and/or radical,and gradual,depending on the specific acquisition type,context and managerial actions following the acquisition. Moreover,the visual simplicity of the network drawing in the post-acquisition network environment of a vertical acquisition type is not equivalent to lesser complexity of managing within the network. Rather,it shows a greater complexity as the M & A induces more direct customer relationships to manage and be managed. The study also shows that connected network changes may cause a revision of a specific industry’s business rules,and the management of these changes is critical for acquisition success.

Research limitations/implications

While the two illustrative M & A cases are deemed practically significant in strategic and social terms within their industry and country settings,further research is required to establish the generalizability of the findings to wider industry and geographical contexts.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discussion on the important role of the business network approach in elaborating the understanding of a strategic management event,particularly M & A.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 38 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2014

Anne-Maria Holma

This study provides a comprehensive framework of adaptation in triadic business relationship settings in the service sector. The framework is based on the industrial…

Abstract

This study provides a comprehensive framework of adaptation in triadic business relationship settings in the service sector. The framework is based on the industrial network approach (see, e.g., Axelsson & Easton, 1992; Håkansson & Snehota, 1995a). The study describes how adaptations initiate, how they progress, and what the outcomes of these adaptations are. Furthermore, the framework takes into account how adaptations spread in triadic relationship settings. The empirical context is corporate travel management, which is a chain of activities where an industrial enterprise, and its preferred travel agency and service supplier partners combine their resources. The scientific philosophy, on which the knowledge creation is based, is realist ontology. Epistemologically, the study relies on constructionist processes and interpretation. Case studies with in-depth interviews are the main source of data.

Details

Deep Knowledge of B2B Relationships within and Across Borders
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-858-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2020

Laurie W. Ford and Jeffrey D. Ford

We have been working together as husband and wife, as management professor and management consultant, and as coauthors for over 30 years. During that time, we have…

Abstract

We have been working together as husband and wife, as management professor and management consultant, and as coauthors for over 30 years. During that time, we have tailored an operations research–based approach to represent the functional infrastructure of organizations as networks of agreements for the transfer of deliverables, e.g., products, services, and communications, which connect internal organizational units and also their external relations. The network model is useful to understand organizations, support organization change, and develop management practices that improve efficiency, teamwork, and effectiveness. Throughout the application of this approach, we have observed often that “management is missing,” in organizations in general and in organization change management in particular, where managers and change agents may underestimate or fail to recognize the productive relationships at the foundation of performance in organizations, that these relationships are different from authority or social/affinity relationships, and that they require management. In this chapter, we distinguish the network approach that is fundamental to our work and the “missing” elements of management that are recognizable by using that approach. We then examine how “management is missing” in change management and how it might be restored.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-083-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 August 2014

Luca Gastaldi and Mariano Corso

Drawing on the experience of the Observatories, a set of interconnected research centers in Italy, this chapter explains why academics are in one of the best positions to…

Abstract

Drawing on the experience of the Observatories, a set of interconnected research centers in Italy, this chapter explains why academics are in one of the best positions to orchestrate interorganizational initiatives of change and development, and highlights two prerequisites that appear necessary to render salient this orchestrator role of academics: (i) the extensive use of multiple approaches of collaborative research and (ii) the creation and maintenance of a platform allowing the management and diffusion of the network-based learning mechanisms underlying each change and development effort. The contributions extend existing knowledge on organization development and collaborative research.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-891-4

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