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Electronic Communication in Strategic Networks


Anette Bergman
Mid Sweden University
Anette Bergman , Edit Andresen and
Lars Hallén
Mälardalen University
Lars Hallén

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 19th IMP-conference in Lugano, Switzerland in 2003.


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The email communication in a strategic network of small and medium-sized firms in the Stockholm metropolitan area is analysed on the basis a classification model for communication reasons. Support is found for email use according to information richness theory, as the dominant use of email was information dissemination. However, email was also used for tasks not typical for lean communication media, e.g., the expression of emotions. Still more striking is the strong impact of social behaviour and expectations as a precondition for the actual use of email. Although the strategic network is built up around a web-based platform, email is only marginally used for communication in the network as an effect of low coherence in the network and limited computer experience.