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Contents of IMP Journal issue 2, volume 8

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Towards a Network-based Business Model Concept and The Case of a truck OEM considering its Business Model in India



Authors


Lars Bankvall, Anna Dubois, Frida Lind

Abstract


The term ‘business model’ has become part of everyday language and increasingly a concept subject to various theoretical conceptualisations. In this paper we explore the concept in relation to the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) approach. As inspiration for the discussion we use the case of a truck Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to consider its business model in relation to its business development in India. We conclude by suggesting that business models need to relate to how offerings/seekings are developed based on problem solving and interaction, which implies that the focus of the business model concept should be set on the ‘layers’ at which this interaction occurs.


Strategizing at the Boundaries of Firms



Authors


Lars-Erik Gadde

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to explore strategizing in terms of widening and narrowing of corporate boundaries. The paper is based on a literature review where two archetypes of boundary-setting principles were identified: the ‘integrated hierarchy’ representing wide boundaries to control resources and activities in-house; and the ‘connected company’ featuring narrow boundaries through outsourcing and specialization. The analysis shows that mainstream focus on ownership boundaries needs to be complemented. Other significant borders are derived from central features in the three network layers concerned with: interdependences between activities, interfaces between resources, and interaction among actors. Moreover, awareness and influence boundaries define the limits of the focal firm’s knowledge and authority outside its ownership boundary. The features of the two archetypes are compared and contrasted with regard to these boundaries. The paper concludes with discussion of the variety and the dynamics of boundaries, and some implications for strategic boundary-setting.


New Venture Acquiring Position in an Existing Network



Authors


Antonella La Rocca & Andrea Perna

Abstract


This paper deals with a small Italian company in the automotive business attempting to enter an existing business network in order to sell cars in the Italian market. The analysis focuses on the process of embedding the new venture in an existing business network and on the interaction strategies such embedding requires between the businesses involved. We identify and discuss the critical issues a new venture faces as a new entrant in developing a position in the relevant network. Drawing on an empirical case regarding the development of a distribution network, we discuss how firm’s development strategy is always contingent on the involvement of external actors and their resources and activities. This paper contributes to the discussion on strategizing by analysing the interactive nature of strategizing at the actors level and by focusing on an overlooked case of strategizing, namely when a new venture tries to acquire a position in an existing network. We argue that strategy development in business networks is dependent on other actors co-operating in creating new solutions and conceding space to the new entrant.


Strategic reversal: The network as reason, means and end



Authors


Christina Öberg

Abstract


This paper describes and discusses strategic reversal in a network context. Strategic reversal here refers to how a company implements a strategy and, with a lapse of time, decides to undo that strategic change. The paper discusses strategic reversal in terms of being: (i) driven by the network or changes therein; (ii) using the network to accomplish the reversal; and (iii) affecting network parties. It contrasts this with the initial strategy, and discusses the initial strategy and reversal in terms of company-centric and network-driven strategy. Two case studies illustrate this. The paper concludes that the reversal may be company-centric to as high an extent as the initial strategy. The reversal is not complete in the sense that it does not bring the parties, or their network connections, back to what they were before the initial strategy. For the firms reversing their strategies, new parties need to be invited to direct relationships, while present network parties may inhibit the reversal. These findings contribute to previous research through describing post-implementation reversal of strategy, and relate it to the network in its formulation, implementation and as affecting its outcome.


An Innovation Success – But Who Gets the Revenues? Opera Software in Nigeria



Authors


Marie Brun Svendsen, Thomas Louis Dubourcq & Håkan Håkansson

Abstract


The case giving the base for this article is a very rich network case, i.e. it describes the importance and the function of direct connections for a business highly embedded into a business environment. All the important existing business relationships in the case are directly connected to other business relationships. What the company is doing with a counterpart in Finland influences what it can do in Nigeria or other parts of the world. This is due to the fact that products and technical solutions are highly interrelated – embedded into each other. These connections give two different types of possibilities or restrictions for involved companies. First, it results in a specific network structure in each moment, which in the short run makes room for certain networking processes to exploit the given structure at the same time it excludes others. Second, it also makes room for a certain number of networking processes trying to exploit changes in the specific structure. Together these two types of networking processes create some room for each of the involved companies to maneuver while simultaneously creating very distinct restrictions. One special restriction is that all relationships and the value creation they represent can not be transformed into money! The specific structure and how it affects the chance to make money points to an extremely important feature of all (?) networks. The division or distribution of monetary rewards is not directly related to value creation. There are two different processes taking place at the same time. One is the value creation and the other is the division of rewards. These processes are probably related, but in a much more complicated way than we usually have assumed in earlier research. It is an aspect of the networks that we have to give much more attention in future studies.