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Firms' Ability to Manage in Business Networks: A Review of Concepts
Thomas Ritter and
Place of Publication
This paper was published in Industrial Marketing Management, volume 33, 3, pages 175-183, in 2004.
For many years, research and management thinking has focused on understanding business relationships and networks. Now, the focus is shifting to managing business relationships and networks. This new approach focus poses two questions. Since networks are loosely coupled systems, to what extent are business networks manageable? Furthermore, how can a firm's ability to manage a network be characterized and measured? This paper addresses these two questions by synthesizing the current state of knowledge on management issues in networks and the contribution to managerial abilities in complex relationships. The discussion leads to a set of propositions describing the abilities firms will need to successfully manage complex business networks.