Towards ecosystem emergence - A case study of the formation of collaborative network in the third sector

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School of Science | Master's thesis
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Yritysstrategia ja kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
Degree programme
104 + [23]
Collaborative networks and other co-operative forms of strategic action are receiving more attention as organizations need to solve complex problems in rapidly changing environments. Understanding collaborative networks and their formation is increasingly important in an interconnected world where resources and capabilities must be shared or combined in order to generate value and competitive advantage. This comprises understanding the foundations of social capabilities and processes that underlie network collaboration. The objective of this thesis is to extend both practical and theoretical understanding about: a) The steps from cooperation to collaborative network emergence, b) The social process by which collaboration is created and developed, and c) How an individual organization can benefit from joining a collaborative network. The study is a qualitative inductive single case study of the GeRo 2012 project, GeRo being a network and interest association for private Swedish speaking pensioner's homes in the city of Helsinki, Finland. The case study was based on empirical material collected during the project and consisted mainly of 21 interviews, detailed transcripts of workshops, meeting notes, and personal observations during the entire study. The foremost finding of this study is the ICEN process of collaborative network emergence, consisting of four phases; (1) Interpretation, (2) Concretization, (3) Energization, and (4) Negotiation (together with sub-processes and -factors). This thesis aspires to advance current knowledge regarding the process of network formation as a dynamic capability. In addition the evolution of GeRo from association towards orchestrated ecosystem is discussed. This study indicates several social processes that are important factors in collaborative network formation, and explicates the process of network emergence through the interpretation, concretization, energization, and negotiation phases (the ICEN process). The results aim to deepen current understanding of social processes as micro-foundations of collaborative network formation. Implications for practice and theory, and possibilities for future research are discussed.
Maula, Markku
Thesis advisor
Wallin, Johan
Laamanen, Tomi
network, nätverk, collaboration, samverkan, ecosystem, ekosystem emergens, emergence
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