Roles of actors in combining resources into complex solutions
Combining resources to develop complex solutions (e.g., products or services) involves a varied set of business actors. Research tends to assume that actors are more or less autonomous in combining the resources they use. Presenting findings from a study of the construction of the first two pre-discharge homes for patients with cognitive and motor disabilities, we show that the autonomy of the single actor in combining resources is limited and that resource combinations are collectively enacted. Consequently, the features of the emergent resource combinations depend on the set of actors involved. We also argue that each actor takes part in resource combination both as provider and as user of resources; the two roles imply different perspectives that lead to different focal points which, in turn, impact how resources interface. The two roles orient the conduct of parties and, as confronted in business relationships, they shape the development of business relationships and resource combinations.
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