In an action oriented research project financed by Industriens Fond, Denmark, Researchers from ISE have collaborated with a Business Network Service, Network Zealand, and its members to investigate how to optimize and develop the network to make it more innovative.A Business network service is a network organised by a network supplier as a service to companies who pay a fee for participating in the network. Today an increasing number of such business network services compete to attract members. For this reason, innovation and development of such business networks services are important for the services to stay competitive and be able to attract members.
A first analysis of the network illuminated several issues in the network. For example, The network strategy of the supplier did not sufficiently match the members’ interests. Furthermore, the activities in the network did not entirely support the strategy. Furthermore, the engagement of the members was insufficient, and the developed relations in the network did not sustain neither member interests nor the network strategy. The analysis led to the development of the model below, suggesting issues that business network services must deal with to optimize their benefits.
Based on the findings of the analysis the researchers organised workshops with the network supplier and the network members. The workshops focused on developing a strategy based on a common understanding of the purposes of the network, and of finding the right mix of activities to sustain such a new strategy. The activities have led to a new more focused strategy based on the core values of the network that were discovered in the workshops. Furthermore, the activities resulted in a better alignment of the strategy and the future activities in the network. In other words, the process largely eliminated the misalignments between the elements shown in the developed model.
The developed model and process is suitably also for other business network services who find themselves in a competitive situation where they have to innovate, develop and optimise their services, or just to make sure that they are efficiently serving their members interests.
For more information about the project and its findings, please contact Associate Professor Flemming Sørensen (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Professor Niels Nolsøe Grünbaum (email@example.com), or Associate Professor Ada Scupola (firstname.lastname@example.org).