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Paper info: Metatheory of Network Management: A Contingency Perspective


Metatheory of Network Management: A Contingency Perspective


Kristian Moller
Aalto University
Kristian Moller and Timo Järvensivu

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.


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This paper introduces a metatheoretical, contingency-based framework of interorganizational network management. This framework links together the discussion on the manageability of networks and extant literature on the functions, tasks, and actor roles in network management. The paper defines and discusses four basic network management functions - labeled tentatively as framing, activating, mobilizing, and synthesizing - that are suggested to be universal to all networks, including strategic nets, markets as networks or macro networks, as well as social networks. It is further suggested that management tasks, derived from the more general management functions and contingent upon the characteristics of the network, differ between different types of networks. Finally, the paper discusses the managerial roles that different actors in a network can adopt depending on their resources and capabilities. In spite of its preliminary nature the paper is seen to make a significant contribution in clarifying the discussion of management in a network context.