Summary Artikelen

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Summary - Artikelen

  • 1 Gulati et al. (2000) "Strategic networks"

  • What does this paper introduce?
    The important role of networks of interfirm ties in examing fundamental issues in strategy research
  • How has prior research viewed firms?
    As autonomous entities striving for competitive advantage from either external industry sources or form internal resources and capabilities
  • Which five key areas are identified in which there is a potential for incorporating strategic networks?
    1. Industry structure
    2. Positioning within an industry
    3. Inimitable resources and capabilities
    4. Contracting and coordinating costs
    5. Dynamic network constraints and benefits
  • What is a key question in strategy research?
    Why firms differ in their conduct and profitability
  • How is this question answered?
    By the choice to view firms as autonomous entities, striving for competitive advantage from either external industry sources, or from internal resources and capabilities
  • However, the image of atomistic actors competing for profits against each other in an impersonal marketplace is increasingly inadequate in a world in which firms are embedded in networks of social, professional, and exchange relationships with other organizational actors. 
  • Which sets relationships with other organizations does such network encompass?
    • Horizontal
    • Vertical
  • What are horizontal/vertical relationships?
    Suppliers, customers, competitors, or other entities
  • Where are strategic networks composed of?
    Of inter organizational ties that are enduring, are of strategic significance for the firms entering them, and include strategic alliances, joint ventures, and a host of similar ties
  • By adopting a relational, rather than an atomistic, approach, we can deepen our understanding of the sources of differences in firm conduct and profitability. 
  • What can be the dark side of networks?
    It may lock firms into unproductive relationships or preclude partnering with other viable firms
  • Where has research paid growing attention to?
    To understanding the formation of inter organizational ties including the motivation of firms entering them and explaining the differential proclivity of firms to enter them
  • Where is paid less attention to?
    To the strategic implications of such networks for firms embedded in them.
  • Why is the location of firms in interfirm networks an important element of competition?
    Competition is more intense among actors who occupy a similar location relative to others but is mitiated if actiers are tied to each other
  • What is the difference between a transaction cost perspective and a network approach?
    While the transaction cost perspective stresses the efficiency benefits from reducing the governance cost of a transaction, a network approach allows consideration of the strategic benefits from optimizing not just a single relationship but the firm’s entire network of relationships.
  • What are the five traditional sources of differential returns to films in strategy research?
    1. Industry structure - including the degree of competition and barriers to entry
    2. Positioning within an industry - including strategic groups and barriers to mobility 
    3. Inimitable firm resources and capabilities
    4. Contracting and coordinating costs
    5. Dynamic and path dependent constraints and benefits
  • What did the industrial organization school begin with?
    With models of perfect competition
  • What did they argue (organization school)?
    That oligopoly, or greater concentration generally, led to increased profitability for the firms in an industry
  • Why do the authors propose that a consideration of strategic networks allows a more refined understanding of industry structure?
    Since industry participants can be seen as embedded in networks of resources, information, and other flows
  • What can such networks influence?
    The nature of competition in the industry and the degree of profitability beyond traditional measures of industry concentration
  • Which three types of relational characteristics are considered to illustrate the implications of viewing the industry level of analysis from a network perspective?
    1. Network structure
    2. Network membership
    3. Tie modality
  • Where does network structure refer to?
    To the overall pattern of relationships within which the industry is embedded
  • What do the authors mean with network membership?
    The composition of the network - the identities, status, resources, access, and other characteristics of the focal industry's
  • What is tie modality?
    The set of institutionalized rules and norms that govern appropriate behavior in the network
  • What does network membership influence?
    The location of an industry in a broader network of resource flows that might influence its profitability
  • How do the authors consider tie modalities at the level of ties that form the network?
    The strength of connections and the nature of the ties, both within the industry and across to supplier and customer industries
  • How may collusion be facilitated?
    To a greater degree by the strength of the ties between the firms in an industry
  • How can the nature of relationships themselves be?
    Collaborative or opportunistic
  • How can the set of tie characteristics be applied to explain industry profitability?
    Across industries
  • What do the set of traditional strategy models recognize with regard to the intra-industry structure?
    Industries are not homogeneous; rather within the same industry, some firms are more alike than others, and can be grouped together
  • On which bases can strategic groups be identified?
    • Similarities in firm scale
    • Similarity of products and services in terms of price, features, and quality
    • Similarity in technology
    • Similarity in customers served
  • How can strategic groups be identified?
    Among firms that share common attributes, through the use of network methodologies
  • What would be a more interesting approach to use firm interactions and identify relationships?
    Intra-industry grouping or cliques
  • What are cliques or blocks?
    Groups of firms with alliances with each other but not to others in the industry.
  • What is another way to think about networks and intra-industry structure?
    To recognize the potential of networks of relationships to create mobility barriers for firms trying to cross strategic groups, just as networks may serve as entry barriers for firms trying to enter the industry
  • Which may impede the movement of firms within an industry?
    The network of ties among firms in the strategic group a firm is trying to leave, or in the group a firm is trying to enter, or both.
  • Thus, how can networks serve?
    As a source of both opportunity and constraint
  • What does a network perspective highlight?
    The idea that similarity in relational space is an important way to think about patterns of competition and differences in the profitability of firms within an industry
  • What has the resource-based view (RBV0 of the firm emphasized?
    The notion that resources owned or controled by the firm have the potential to provide enduring competitive advantage when they are inimitabel and not readily substitutable.
  • The idea that the search for the source of value-creating resources and capabilities should extend beyond the boundaries of the firm presents a novel perspective for the RBV and answers an important question emanating from the literature as to the origin of value-generating resources. 
  • Where can a firm's network be though of?
    • As an creating inimitable and non-substitutable value (and constraint!) 
    • As an inimitable resource by itself
    • As a means to access inimitable resources and capabilities  
  • Where does a firm's network allow access to?
    To key resources from its environment, such as information, access, capital, goods, services and so on that have the potential to maintain or enhance a firm's competitive advantage
  • Why is it difficult for competitors to imitate or substitute?
    By the virtue of such firm networks being indiosyncratic and created through a path dependent process
  • How are resources accessed by themselves?
    Idiosyncratic, generated as they are through the combination of unique networks the firm possesses, they too are relatively inimitable and non-substitutable
  • Thus together, the firm’s networks, and the resources they allow the firm to tap into, can serve as a source of sustainable competitive advantage. 
  • What is the key idea of the network as a resource?
    That the structural pattern of a firm's relationships is uniqe and has the potential to confer competitive advantage
  •  Firms are highly alert when they create and utilize wide-ranging information networks with plentiful weak ties, high centrality, and wide geographical scope, and together with responsiveness, this capability translates into superior performance.
  • What renders the network inimitable and thus too the information it provides?
    The private and invisible nature of the ties
  • What are the other aspects of a focal firm's network of ties that can influence its behavior and performance?
    The pattern of direct and indirect ties
  • What is network membership as a resource?
    The existing choices partner firms (either as buyers, suppliers, or alliance partners) can both restrict and enlarge the opportunity set of future relationships available to the focal firm which provides potential for a competitive advantage.
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What are the results?
  • Alliance partners are more likely to limit their joint activities to pure R&D when they are direct competitors in final product and geographic markets.
  • Competitors are especially averse to adding joint marketing activities to their R&D collaborations, suggesting that the competitive consequences of market-related knowledge leakage is a particularly salient concern.
  • Alliance scope is also partly driven by relative absorptive capacity. It helps firms to effectively cooperate broadly, particularly in joint manufacturing: the degree of overlap in partner firms’ technological assets is a strong predictor of alliance scope along this dimension.
  • Firms choose a more protective alliance structure (i.e. joint equity venture) when alliance scope is broad. The reverse effect was also found: the choice of joint ventures encourages partners to collaborate beyond pure R&D.
  • Overall, allying firms narrow the scope of their alliance activities in response to competitive threats – perhaps in recognition with the fact that protective alliance governance may be inadequate to control the risk.
Why would the authors expect firms to be more likely to choose an equity joint venture rather than a contractual alliance?
Because a broad scope increases the hazards of cooperation. However, in contrast to prior work, they view alliance scope as an alternative means of controlling partner opportunism. Furthermore, they argue that narrowing scope may actually be the preferred alternative when competitive overlap is particularly extensive, since the residual hazards of broad-scope alliances may be too high even when embedded in a protective governance structure. 
Where is a potentially competing effect?
Low technology overlap on alliance scope, unrelated to leakage hazards
When there is extensive overlap in alliance partners' areas of technological expertise, partner firms are likely to draw on.....
The same external pools of technological knowledge and thus may perceive of each other as direct competitors in relevant resource markets
What is a predictable outcome of collaborative R&D?
That inter-organizational learning increases the similarity of alliance partner's resources and capabilities after alliance formation
What about competition, capabilities and alliance scope?
Even if the alliance activities are embedded in a protective governance structure such as an equity joint venture, the residual hazards of opportunism may be high enough to deter extensive knowledge sharing among alliance participants
When does protection of technological knowledge become more challenging with increases in alliance scope?
As the tacit knowledge embedded in operating routines must be exposed to alliance partners if joint operations are to proceed efficiently
When is it almost impossible to effectively manage mixed activity R&D alliances?
When extensive sharing of tacit knowledge embedded in operational routines, which in turn may have significant effects on the relative competitive position of partner firms
Which many opportunties for firms may collaboration in R&D provide for firms that glean competitive intelligence from alliance partners?
  • Hints about partner strategies and directions of technological search, or feasibility of particular ideas
  • Competitive benchmarking data
  • Identification of key personnel who may be hired away
  • Codified knowledge (in formulas, designs, and procedures)
  • Deep exposure to tacit knowledge in skills and routines
What are the implications for R&D alliances?
If the prime concern is to bring the best product to market in the timeliest fashion, then jointly performing R&D and manufacturing and marketing activities within the alliance is likely to superior arrangement