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Paper info: In the beginning was the network


In the beginning was the network


David Ford
University of Bath
United Kingdom
David Ford and
Michael Redwood
University of Bath
United Kingdom
Michael Redwood

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.


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This paper looks at two case studies to show that networks are not a new idea. Businesseshave always joined already existing networks of companies and relationships and operatedwithin them. Rather than companies creating or building networks in line with their individualstrategy, it is much more valid to say that “in the beginning was the network”. In this way, anycompany action can usefully be interpreted as an interactive process through which thosearound the company and the company itself adjust to changing network structureThe paper draws conclusions about management decision making and reaction in thiscontext.Keywords: networks, innovation, network evolution, leather, ice-industry, technology.