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Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Tim Kastelle
Chapter 12: Network Activation in the Knowledge Economies
Susan Moger1 For some time, scholars have been debating the significance and impact of networks upon a firm’s overall market effectiveness and competitiveness. Many scholars now suggest that firms are embedded in networks with other firms, and these relationships can be competitive and collaborative in nature (Achrol, 1997; Achrol and Kotler, 1999; Anderson et al., 1994; Ford et al.,1998). In particular, work exploring the impact of what is termed ‘network competence’ upon a firm’s overall marketing and commercial capacity has begun to advance the debate concerning the qualities and properties of a network marketing approach (Ritter and Gemunden, 2003). The participation in differing types of networks is also perceived to be an important factor in the management of change and the innovation process (Granovetter, 1973; Gryskiewicz, 2008). This chapter examines some of the characteristics that, it is argued, could contribute to an understanding of network competence. It explores the mechanisms by which knowledge is transferred during the innovation process, by an individual termed a ‘network activator’ and by a process termed ‘network activation’. These concepts may throw further light upon the concept of ‘network competence’. In initial work, reported in Rickards and Moger (1999), the term ‘network activator’ was developed to designate a particular type of change-centred individual who was capable of obtaining information from external sources and then disseminating this throughout the organization. Further work proposed the concept of ‘network activation’ to designate the processes such individuals undertook, and investigated the infrastructural support of such individuals, their orientation...
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