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Paper info: Actor Bonds in Situations of Discontinuous Business Activities


Actor Bonds in Situations of Discontinuous Business Activities


Maria Anne Skaates

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 16th IMP-conference in Bath, U.K in 2000.


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Demand in many industrial buying situations, e.g. project purchases or procurement related tovirtual organizations, is discontinuous. In situations of discontinuity, networks are often more ofan ad hoc informational and social nature, as strong activity and resource links are not present.Furthermore the governance structure of markets characterized by discontinuous businessactivities is either that of the 'socially constructed market? (Skaates, 2000) or that of the(socially constructed) network (Håkansson and Johanson, 1993). Additionally relationships andactor bonds vary substantially in situations of discontinuity. Therefore an analysis and comparisonof relevant concepts that capture the key generative of features of actor bonds in bothsocially constructed networks and socially constructed markets is undertaken. These conceptsinclude the ?milieu? of project marketing (Cova et al., 1996) and the institutional concept of the?field?. Finally this paper introduces the concept of 'social capital? (Bourdieu, 1983) anddiscusses whether it can be used to conceptualize the dynamic features of actor bonds insituations of discontinuity.