This paper presents a model of network life-cycle based on the literature on network and alliance evolution. Though networks are considered strategically relevant to firms’ success, in particular in a context of small businesses, many evidences report the high failure rate of inter-firm cooperation strategies. The literature on whole network has been mainly devoted to study network structure, governance and outcomes, while longitudinal studies on network evolution and critical factors leading to untimely termination are scant. Starting from this premises, this paper describe the first step in a more comprehensive research project aimed at defining the critical issues that occur in each stage of a network life-cycle, by matching different literature stream (network evolution and life-cycle, network termination) with subsequent empirical investigation on business network contract drafted following the specific regulation introduced in Italy since 2009. By analysing the first stream of literature, we propose here a life-cycle model made of the following stages: formation, operation, performance evaluation, consolidation and decline; these stages belong to what we called “physiological life-cycle”, while each stage could result in a “pathological path” determined by some specific critical factors which can undermine the successful evolution of the network. The whole research project presents theoretical contribution to this specific stream of research, and also relevant managerial implications by describing and testing the main issues that a network manager should be ready to face in the dynamics of networks operations.

TOWARDS A LIFE-CYCLE MODEL OF INTER-FIRM NETWORKS: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL PATH OF EVOLUTION

CANTELE, SILVIA;VERNIZZI, Silvia
2017-01-01

Abstract

This paper presents a model of network life-cycle based on the literature on network and alliance evolution. Though networks are considered strategically relevant to firms’ success, in particular in a context of small businesses, many evidences report the high failure rate of inter-firm cooperation strategies. The literature on whole network has been mainly devoted to study network structure, governance and outcomes, while longitudinal studies on network evolution and critical factors leading to untimely termination are scant. Starting from this premises, this paper describe the first step in a more comprehensive research project aimed at defining the critical issues that occur in each stage of a network life-cycle, by matching different literature stream (network evolution and life-cycle, network termination) with subsequent empirical investigation on business network contract drafted following the specific regulation introduced in Italy since 2009. By analysing the first stream of literature, we propose here a life-cycle model made of the following stages: formation, operation, performance evaluation, consolidation and decline; these stages belong to what we called “physiological life-cycle”, while each stage could result in a “pathological path” determined by some specific critical factors which can undermine the successful evolution of the network. The whole research project presents theoretical contribution to this specific stream of research, and also relevant managerial implications by describing and testing the main issues that a network manager should be ready to face in the dynamics of networks operations.
978-9963-711-56-7
networks, inter-firm network, business network, network life-cycle, network evolution, network termination, strategic alliances, business network contract.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/969463
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