Frontpage  About
Paper info: Sensemaking in Networks: Using Dottograms to analyse network changes


Sensemaking in Networks: Using Dottograms to analyse network changes


Morten H. Abrahamsen
BI Norwegian Business School
Morten H. Abrahamsen ,
Pete Naude
Manchester Business School
United Kingdom
Pete Naude and StephanC Henneberg

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.


Download paper
(280.7 kb)


 While considerable research exists on explaining business network structures in different research traditions, the issue of change within network is less well researched. Specifically the question whether or not change is perceived in the same way by different actors in the network is of interest as differences or similarities in any firm's perspective can be used to understand their strategic behaviour. In our paper, such changes are analysed, based on the industrial network approach. This approach is underpinned by an interaction model between different actors in the network (Ford et al., 2003; Ford and Håkansson, 2006). Thus, companies interact based on their perceptions of the relevant network environment and their subjective sense-making of the network logic and exchange mechanisms relating to theses activities, resources, and actor bonds (Holmen and Pedersen, 2003; Ford et al., 2003; Henneberg et al., 2006). In this paper we develop a concept of network change as well as an operationalisation for the comparison of these change perceptions. This will include a more detailed conceptualisation of the time/space specificity of network change. Following on from this, the concept of network pictures will be used as a conceptual tool to operationalise this concept, and a template model of "dottograms" will subsequently allow for an explanation of change in networks, exemplified in a case study of the Norwegian/Japanese seafood distribution system.