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Paper info: RE-ENCOUNTERS IN NETWORKS – FORMS AND ANTECEDENTS

Title


RE-ENCOUNTERS IN NETWORKS – FORMS AND ANTECEDENTS

Authors


Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Poznan, Poland in 2016.

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Abstract


Research background. In the networked business environment, it is not uncommon that same actors come together and part in different business situations. Relatedly, formation and termination of business relationships and networks, as well as what happens in between, have been studied extensively. However, an issue that has remained on the outskirts of research is what happens outside this process, between network exit and formation of a network, especially when same actors connect again in re-encounter situations. Purpose of the paper. In this study, attention is turned to the various outcomes of former relationship endings and exits from networks especially at the time when the actors’ paths cross again, at the time of re-encounter. The aim of the study is to develop a framework that describes what kinds of outcomes relate to re-encounters, paying attention especially to various aspects define these outcomes in the networked business environment. Methods. This conceptual study builds on existing literature from different research streams, borrowing ideas widely. It also utilizes illustrative examples from practice in order to demonstrate presence of different features. Main contribution. In response to the identified gap in existing research, a framework is drafted in which influential factors and their relationships are described. It is suggested that the events that have initially given start to the exit, responses to these events, and the type and nature of the exit form one set of factors explaining outcomes after exit and – as the focus of the study – at the time of later re-encounter. Furthermore, it is advocated that the type and reasons for the reencounter, and developments faced by the exiting organizations and the network ex post exit, are influential in determining whether the re-encounter is characterized by retaliation, refraining, reframing, or return to collaboration. It is also suggested that time can be an important factor.