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Half a century of development: Mapping the evolution of a business network
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (INTERORG)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9964-7717
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (INTERORG)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6646-9798
2015 (English)In: 31th Annual Conference on Industrial Marketing & Purchasing, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While Darwinian theory has been applied in industrial network analysis to understand how business firms find and select each other, how business relationships survive, and how stability in buyer–seller relationships can be sustained, a recent review shows that there is a paucity of empirical investigations accounting for the whole set of core principles of ‘General Darwinism’ (GD) (Johansson & Kask, 2013). Accordingly, there is a need to extend the research efforts to all core parts of GD for a more complete analysis of business networks.

GD is about explaining adaptive fit, the accumulation of complex designs over time, and the development of variety from a common origin. Most prior research on industrial networks adopting GD is hampered by a one-sided focus on explaining adaptive fit. The result is partial understanding and limited knowledge of the applicability of GD in industrial networks. It also circumscribes the possibility to further develop the theoretical interfaces between network theories and GD. According to Brennan (2006) IMP research could benefit from incorporating elements from “[…] an evolutionary process into dynamics of change within inter-firm relationships and networks.” (p. 829). Furthermore, GD requires auxiliary theory to be useful as a conceptual framing and IMP thinking can provide this.

We address the prior theoretical unbalance by drawing on the whole paradigm of (GD) to investigate a case of a production and distribution-network of sporting goods in Sweden. The purpose is to explain the evolution of the network by analysing a longitudinal case over a period of 50 years. We contribute with an analysis of the development of a business network based on the whole set of core principles of GD, extending our knowledge of evolution in networks. It also provides an empirically based application of GD to a specific problem, contributing to the development of auxiliary frameworks to GD, responding to the critique of GD as being largely void of empirical studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Network Evolution, General Darwinism, Sporting Goods, Specialization, Encapsulation, Requisite variety
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47833OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-47833DiVA: diva2:898949
Conference
31th Annual Conference on Industrial Marketing & Purchasing (IMP), Kolding, Denmark, August 25-29, 2015
Available from: 2016-01-29 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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