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Contents of IMP Journal issue 3, volume 2

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Analysing Dimensions And Consequences Of Project Embeddedness


Frida Lind and Anna Dubois


This paper aims to develop the notion of ‘project embeddedness’ and takes its starting point in the suggested need for viewing projects as embedded in the wider structures and processes that influence and are influenced by them. Two dimensions of the concept of embeddedness are identified: organisational space and time. The industrial network model is applied in the organisational space dimension to analyse project embeddedness with regard to activities, resources and actors, while project embeddedness in time is analysed with regard to past, present and future. It is concluded that the roles and contributions of project members may vary in these dimensions and that projects can be organised with this in mind. The reasoning is illustrated by a case of an inter-organisational research project aiming at developing frost resistant oats.

Keywords: Projects, project embeddedness, industrial networks

An Interactive View Of Innovations: Adopting A New Timber Solution In An Old Concrete Context


Anna Bengtson and Håkan Håkansson


This article takes an interactive view of innovation with the aim of investigating how physical and organisational resource interfaces within an industrial context will affect and be affected by the adoption of a particular innovation. It is based on a case study of a change process that took place in the Swedish construction industry in the mid and late 1990s centring on the use of timber constructions in tall buildings. The case analysis focuses on describing the resource structure behind a building, and on further analysis of some of the resource interfaces. These resource interfaces have explanatory power in the examination of the focal change process and its outcome. The article ends with an analysis of the particular innovation process from an economic perspective.

Distribution Research And The Industrial Network Approach


Lars-Erik Gadde and David Ford


This paper has two aims: The first is to show the linkages between the early distribution literature and some of the central assumptions and building blocks of the industrial network approach. The second aim is to illuminate how studies of current distribution issues could benefit from industrial network thinking and point out the conceptual and managerial implications of taking a network perspective on distribution. The paper presents a review of some of the basic building blocks of the early distribution literature. In particular it illuminates how central aspects of current industrial network thinking can be traced back to the systemic approach to distribution presented by Wroe Alderson and others some fifty or more years ago. The paper compares central elements of the distribution literature and the industrial network approach and discusses the ways in which they see the world similarly and differently. The paper shows how mainstream distribution literature drifted away from its previous holistic perspective towards focussing on more narrow issues without considering how these issues relate to the totality of distribution. The paper then presents observations on current distribution practice showing that distribution reality has become “network-like”. The paper concludes that it would be fruitful to analyse this reality with models and concepts from industrial network theory. In the final section the paper examines some of the consequences of a network view of distribution.

Key Words: Distribution, Networks, Channels, Alderson.