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Paper info: The Evolution Of Business Nets And Capabilities - A Longitudinal Study In The ICT Sector


The Evolution Of Business Nets And Capabilities - A Longitudinal Study In The ICT Sector


Arla Juntunen
Helsinki School of Economics
Arla Juntunen and
Kristian Moller
Aalto University
Kristian Moller

Place of Publication

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



This study examines two current ?hot topics?: the emergence of a new Internet driven business group, and its construction through a series of intentionally developed strategic alliances and strategic nets. Our paper is based on a longitudinal case study in the ICT sector, and it takes the viewpoint of a core company. We look at how new breakthrough technologies (i.e. xDSL, multimedia, mobile technology, Internet) and the combination of formerly separate technologies and businesses are transformed into a viable business ? the so-called Home Commerce business group ? during the time period of 1990-2001. Our primary aim is to examine how the case company tries intentionally to construct this new business group by developing of a series of interlinked strategic alliances and nets of organizations. Using the insights gained during this process we try to identify the capabilities that the firm develops, giving particular attention to network capabilities. The paper is organized as follows. We start by discussing the conceptual background for the study. The methodological solutions are then described and arguments for them are presented. The fourth section of the paper is our case analysis. We first provide a periodized description of the emergence of the Home Commerce business group (HCB). The types of alliances and nets that are considered to be critical in this emergence are discussed, with special attention being paid to identifying the network capabilities, which the core company created. The role played by these network capabilities is analyzed. A discussion of the theoretical and managerial conclusions and suggestions for future research conclude the paper.