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Paper info: Key network management


Key network management


Jukka Ojasalo

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 18th IMP-conference in Perth, Australia in 2002.


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Network management capability is of paramount importance for any organization in the era of a network economy. Despite the rapid growth of business network research, effective approaches for systematic network management are still in their infancy.Existing business network literature mostly concentrates on describing the nature of the network around a focal company. This article introduces a systematic approach for managing networks - Key Network Management (KNM). A Key Network refers to a set of actors mobilized by the focal company to realize an opportunity. An opportunity is anything that potentially represents or results in value to the company. A company may manage several Key Networks. The KNM approach includes four basic elements: 1) Scanning and analyzing the Opportunity Network, 2) Identifying a manageable Key Network, 3) Strategies for managing actors of the Key Network, and 4) Developing and applying operational level methods for managing actors of the Key Network. Indeed, the KNM-approach is not only focused on using networks to fulfill existing needs, but also on discovering new opportunities and establishing and managing networks to realize these opportunities. Also, this article suggests a framework for KNM practices for effective implementation of this approach.