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Networks A Combination Of Ties And Actors

2589 words - 10 pages

IntroductionThis paper is the result of a literature study for the course Alliances, Mergers and Networks at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and is written to give an insight in the relationship between network roles and the level of direct and indirect network ties.Over the past years many research has been done on organizational networks. Resulting, in the current literature there is a lot to find about networks, the actors and the different types of ties which they exist from. It is a frequently studied subject that networks can stimulate innovativeness. There is actually not much known about the relationship between the level of the types of ties and the different roles that organization can fulfil within an innovation network.With this managerial paper I attempt to make a contribution to this subject by providing clear insight in current literature and provide (empirical) evidence for the relationship between (innovation) network roles and network ties. The outcome of the paper is a contribution to the existing literature in the form of a managerial model.The research question for this paper is: What roles can actors fulfil in an innovation network given the amount of direct- and indirect ties?This paper is structured in a way that a theoretical background on networks and entrepreneurship follows this introduction. This section is ended with a managerial model. After this theoretical background some empirical examples are provided. The paper will be ended with a conclusion and discussion. A list of used references is attached at the end of this paper.Theoretical backgroundThis section provides a theoretical framework that will be used to explain and define the concepts of (innovation) network, types of ties and the divers network roles that organizations can fulfil. It will be concluded with a managerial model that links the level of ties with a network role.Innovation networksDamanpour & Wischnevsky (2006) describe innovation is a 'concept central to economic growth and can be a source of sustained competitive advantage to firms.' From their point of view innovation has the objective to introduce organizational change and to create new opportunities. Another objective can be to explore and adjust existing opportunities. Innovation is necessary in order to create organizational growth, change, effectiveness or even survival. (Damanpour & Wischnevsky, 2006)The collection and processing of information is needed to create innovation (Ahuja, 2000). Firms that are operating in a network have the advantage of being able to access more information on an easier way in comparison with firms which are operating on their own. Hence, from that point of view networks can be seen as devices trough, which information can be gained and innovation can be stimulated. 'Innovation is seen as a process which results from various interactions among different actors (Doloreux, 2004)'. Research has show that network cooperation or using a wide range of...

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