Edited by Ard-Pieter de Man
Chapter 2: Networks as the Organization Form of the Knowledge Economy
2. Networks as the organization form of the knowledge economy Ard-Pieter de Man This chapter provides a general background to the relationship between networks and knowledge. It argues that networks are the organization form of the knowledge economy for two reasons. First, competition in knowledge forces companies to focus on increasingly narrow areas of knowledge in which they are able to maintain a competitive edge. This simultaneously increases the need to collaborate with other companies in other knowledge areas in order to deliver a complete product or service to customers. Knowledge access links are suﬃcient to achieve this. This leads to modular networks. Second, learning from other companies has become a necessity to upgrade existing competencies. This requires more intense forms of collaboration with other companies to achieve knowledge exchange. Learning may lead to either social capital or structural hole types of networks. TOWARDS A NETWORK ECONOMY An increasing number of innovations are not developed inside one company, but require collaboration between companies. More and more, collaboration leads to an economy in which networking becomes the most characteristic feature of business organization. Intensive supply relationships, joint ventures, outsourcing, minority holdings and contractual alliances have become so common that many companies have become interconnected, either directly or via partners. This phenomenon is called a network. Networks exist when companies are directly or indirectly related through one or more collaborative agreements between them. The trend towards networks can be found back at industry level. An example is the ﬂat screen industry....
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.