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Paper info: AN OUTLINE FOR RESEARCHING BUSINESS INTERACTIONANDWHY COMPETITION MAY DECLINE IN BUSINESS NETWORKS!

Title


AN OUTLINE FOR RESEARCHING BUSINESS INTERACTIONANDWHY COMPETITION MAY DECLINE IN BUSINESS NETWORKS!

Authors


David Ford
University of Bath
United Kingdom
David Ford , Rob Spencer and
Stefanos Mouzas
Lancaster University
United Kingdom
Stefanos Mouzas

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.

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Abstract


This paper argues that there is a need to move to move the research of the IMP Group away from being a generalised "approach" to understanding business networks and towards a more systematic process of developing and testing propositions about business interaction.  In this way, the paper reinforces the propositions developed around the analysis of actors, activities and resources in Hakansson et al (2009).     The paper presents a tentative conceptual outline for research into the interactions between managers in business relationships.  The proposed research outline builds on the Model of Managing in Business Networks (Ford et al 2008, Håkansson et al 2009) and addresses  two challenges to conventional views of business that have formed the basis of IMP research over the past thirty years (Ford and Håkansson 2006; Ford and Mouzas, 2008). Thus, the first part of the research outline deals with the analysis of the structure within which business interaction takes place and the second part is the analysis of the process of that interaction.  The outline examines business interaction as a problem-coping process under conditions of uncertainty (Håkansson, Johanson and Wootz and Ford et al, 2003). The paper presents suggestions for using the outline to research business interaction and illustrates this with a set of propositions about competition in Business Networks.