This book explores the basic traits of inter-organizational networks, examining the interplay between structure, dynamics, and performance from a governance perspective. The book assumes a novel theoretical angle based on the interpretation of networks as multiple systems, and advances the theory in the realm of network effectiveness and failure. Composed of two parts, theoretical and empirical, The Network Organization clarifies the literature on networks, offering a systematic review, and provides a new perspective on their integration with other streams of research focusing on under-studied issues such as agency, micro-dynamics, and network effectiveness. The second part proposes the analysis of the tourism destination of Venice, with a specific focus on the network between the Venice Film Festival, the hospitality system, and the local institutions. By exploring the pervasion of networks in modern social and economic life, this book will be valuable to students, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
Understanding what motivates and fosters collective actions has major implications in the governance and management of organizations, in the regulation and design of public policies, and has long attracted the interests of scholars and practitioners in business and economics. This paper deals with how groups of agents emerge in a dynamic contest characterized by lack of formal structure and uncertainty regarding the possible individual outcomes, focusing on the features of the cooperators and on the dynamics emerging among them. Through the development of a stylized agent-based model we start by showing how similarity in values can be a successful driver for cooperation but are also able to highlight the limits of such process, by looking at how and how much agents cooperate with similar others. A second-version of the model, where memory of past interactions has a role, introduces further dynamics and is able to create successful and relatively stable groups.
We take a historical perspective to gain insight into the determinants of changes in industrial leadership in the global mobile phone industry from the beginning of the 1980s to 2012. The theoretical foundation of our analysis is (a) the concept of ‘windows of opportunity’ proposed by industry evolution studies, i.e. changes in the technological, regulatory and consumer demand environment offering latecomers the opportunity to overtake leading rivals, and (b) the concept of ‘action aggressiveness’ proposed by the competitive dynamics literature, i.e. the extent to which a firm forcefully takes a large number and a wide variety of actions to outperform its competitors. We show that the potential for leadership changes is greater for firms that are able to undertake ‘aggressive’ competitive actions at the time when ‘significant’ windows of opportunity are open. In particular, we analyze the determinants of two leadership changes: (1) in the second half of the 1990s, when the US giant Motorola lost its number one position, dethroned by its Finnish competitor Nokia; and (2) in the first half of the 2010s, when Samsung of South Korea caught up with Nokia.
While a variety of “product” modularity measures have been proposed and empirically used, little comparative research has been conducted on the characteristics and efficacy of such measures. This study explores how the use of diverse modularity measures affects the analysis of the “mirroring” hypothesis. Particularly, this study analyzes the relationship between “product” modularity measures and the degree of: 1) buyer–supplier integration in new product development; 2) supply chain configuration. The empirical results suggest which of the analyzed measures of modularity are preferable, question the overall utility of such measures to really understand the organizational implications of complex technological systems, and point to alternative measurement approaches.