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Managing Networks - a refection of corporate strategy

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Logically it seems that companies pursuing different business strategies wouldalso manage their relationships with other firms accordingly. Nevertheless, due tothe lack of research in the field of network strategies, this link still remainsinadequately examined. Based on the well-known framework of organisationalbehaviour developed by Miles and Snow (1978), this paper argues that thepatterns of network behaviour practiced by firms greatly depend on the businesstypology of the company. That is, a company’s business typology will to a certaindegree dictate the network identity of the company. In this paper evidence isprovided, that the relation between a company’s strategy, structure and processesin fact have a considerable influence on its pattern of network behaviour. Threecase studies from the Danish biotech industry exemplify and illustrate how acompany’s strategy is directly correlated with how it manages its strategicnetwork relations, which consequently affects its network identity (Eisenhardt1999). It is argued in this paper that the level of relational embeddedness,incentives for establishing strategic relations and the relation between the numberof non-redundant and redundant relations are the most dominant elementsdistinguishing the types of network behaviour in relation to the business typology.The paper thus strives to argue how different business typologies develop anetwork identity on the basis of their network behaviour. Due to the correlationbetween a company’s strategy, structure and processes and its pattern of networkbehaviour, knowing how to manage this relation becomes essential, especiallyduring the development of new strategies.

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Heidi Jørgensen, Christian Vintergaard

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