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Industrial networks: are they a new and alternative way to conduct business or just a logical consequence of a globalising economy?

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  • Vanessa Siebler

    () (Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Dep. Sociology)

Abstract

Networks have been a hot topic in recent years, not only in mainstream media but also in academic literature. The sociological interest in industrial networks is one of multiple levels and surely stems from the question if networks can benefit society. It was the purpose of this paper to research the emergence of the study of networks or industrial networks and validate, using articles concerned with the matter, if they are in fact a new concept in business or not. Considering the review of literature, one can conclude that by no means are networks in business a novelty but a logical consequence of human relationships in general and also that network structures have been present long before their discovery through academia, only not identified as such. It was found that the previous definition of market structures in business, while maneuvering between the two extremes of hierarchy and a free market, may have been too rigid and networks provided an excellent alternative term. It can further be suggested that the study of networks should focus on exchange mechanisms, cultural differences and emotional involvement as industrial networks may differ in their degrees of freedom, scale and purpose but always rely on reciprocity, as do all human relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Vanessa Siebler, 2011. "Industrial networks: are they a new and alternative way to conduct business or just a logical consequence of a globalising economy?," IET Working Papers Series 07/2011, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:ieu:wpaper:38
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    File URL: http://run.unl.pt/handle/10362/6720
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    Keywords

    Networks; industrial networks;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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