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Heterogeneity of actors and processes in business networks

Todeva, E Heterogeneity of actors and processes in business networks In: 6th Workshop on Economics with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents (WEHIA), 2001-06-07 - 2001-06-09, Maastricht, Netherlands.


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This paper examines networks as structures of relationships between heterogeneous actors. The heterogeneity of actors refers to business organisations, individuals within them, institutions, technologies and other artefacts that participate in the development of business projects, or in supplier networks. A business project is considered to be any business activity related to production, distribution, or accumulation of resources, including tangible and intangible assets, knowledge, shared meaning and values.

The paper attempts to conceptualise also the heterogeneity of processes in business networks, such as: enrolment and network construction, ‘translation’ and the normative activities within networks, competition, co-operation, selection and ‘displacement’ of other members, as well as repositioning through strategic behaviour. This intra-organisational dynamics is analysed in the context of structural characteristics of the network, such as: configuration, size, density, cohesion, connectedness, range, multiplexity, and heterogeneity, structural autonomy, structural equivalence, and the division of labour within business networks.

The intra-organisational dynamics in our analysis emerges as a result of all co-operative and competitive efforts of the network members in fulfilling their contracts and pursuing their interests. The relational dynamics within networks is determined therefore by the position of the actors, by the contracts between them, by their individual interests and preferences, and their knowledge of the preferences of the others.

The endogenous structural characteristics of the network not only determine the network dynamics, but lead to self-regulation and self-coordination activities, that increase further the division of labour within a business network.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:46
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:36

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