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Management and collaborations in networks for innovation: Mechanisms for networking

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Collaborations are formed as inter-organisational relations, which are special forms of networks creating and spanning boundaries of organisations. This chapter is focusing on social networking mechanisms for organising, and managing networks. This is one of the features for understanding collaboration and management of collaborations. Networking is a new understanding of management in an economy in which uncertainty and turbulence are the norms rather than the exception. Network management in an entrepreneurial turbulent environment is seen as enacting power in a ‘negotiated management’ process involving partners much more than an established position in a hierarchy where power is exercised. The focus is on obtaining control and power, but also to keep all the actors active even when they are formally out of control of the manager. The question is how to create and maintain the role as project manager on joint projects with other firms. Networking is one way of mobilising resources, through which resources for establishing research and innovation are explored and exploited. In all research and innovation projects, the legitimacy of both technologies, firms and research teams are important. Legitimate partners, such as: recognised peers and research environments as well as international research funding may be exploited as a viable strategy for establishing a good reputation, and thus a strategy to create legitimacy of own innovation and research.

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Mette Mønsted

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