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How strategy and network changes are linked?

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  1. Summary.
  2. Introduction.
  3. Network change: What is it and what are the main characteristics?
    1. Network change and strategy perspectives.
    2. Broad network change.
    3. Is change beneficial or risky?
  4. Network change and Strategy: Common characteristics.
    1. Importance of strategic change and network change.
    2. Comparison strategy formation and network change apparition.
    3. Industry context versus role of firms in network change.
  5. How strategy and network change are linked?
    1. Network change modifies strategy.
    2. Strategy influences the network.
    3. Limits and critics of the study.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

This paper focuses on the relation between the network changes and the strategy of an organization. It also provides a description of the links between those two concepts. The network change is an essential part of the understanding of industrial network. Its importance is related to the fact that a network is something stable but always in movement. This concept is useful to analyse and understand the strategy of an organization related to its relationships. Based on the studies of the IMP group on industrial network and on the strategy theorists, we can conclude that the concepts of strategy and network changes have many characteristics in common. Furthermore, they are dependent on each other in the way that network changes modify the strategy and the strategy influences the network. The studies that have been performed in the field of strategy have demonstrated that many actions can be taken by an organization in order to make choices and changes. In this point of view, organizations have a certain degree of freedom. On the other hand, many studies on the organization and its environment have been performed and demonstrated that the organizations are not totally independents and do not have that much freedom. The environment in which a firm performed cannot be controlled. The environment is always changing and firm has to face those changes and adapted to its environment.

[...] Both the periods of stability and the periods of major modification are important for the survival of the firm Network change and Strategy: common characteristics After defining and characterizing network changes, some parallels and common aspects with strategy can be highlighted. Indeed, network changes and strategy reveal likeness in the vocabulary used and the characteristics studied by the members of the IMP group and the organizational strategy theorists Importance of strategic change and network change The first comparison between strategy and network change is the question to what extent strategic changes influence its environment and to what extent the network changes can modify the relationships of a firm. [...]


[...] This new parallel between network change and strategy shows how both subjects are linked Industry context versus role of firms in network change Finally, a third common characteristic between strategy and network change is the role of firms confronted to their environment. Both strategy and network change wonder if companies can and/or have to play a role of driver to get an influence on the environment or if they are more followers. From the strategy perspective, this debated point is summed up in the paradox between choice and compliance in reaction to the industry context. [...]


[...] First, both raise the question of how deep the changes are to be qualified as network and strategy changes and they can be linked with the model of punctuated equilibrium to understand the balance between evolution and revolution. Second, the apparition of network change and strategy formations is highlighted by wondering if firms generate change (internal reason/deliberateness strategy) or react to the change (external reason/emergence strategy). Thirdly, the environment, as industry context for the strategy point of view and the network for the industrial network one, is taken into account by showing the roles a firm can play to initiate rules or adapting to them. [...]

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