Network Capabilities in Project-Based Organizations ; A Case Study of Avantor AS
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- Master of Science 
The objectives of this thesis are to highlight the important elements and factors for creating and sustaining network capabilities in project-based organizations. A network capability is a firm’s ability to handle the relationships they are embedded in. The purpose is to provide new insight to the existing theory in an attempt to develop theory on network capabilities within the established literature on the topic. Firm’s increased level on engaging in different inter-organizational networks to handle project complexity has encouraged this study. Organizations’ strategizing to create and sustain network capabilities may serve as a core competence for the firm to achieve project success. This thesis designed a single case study on the firm Avantor AS undertaking multiple projects within city development at the Nydalen area in Oslo and is used to collect the data from the empirical world. Moreover, the re-location of BI Norwegian Business School to the Nydalen area will be used as an example to illustrate Avantor AS’s main activities when undertaking a project in a network setting. Built on qualitative research, mainly semi-structured interviews of knowledgeable individuals from both Avantor AS and BI Norwegian Business School, this thesis aims to raise issues on the creation and sustainability of network capabilities that have not been captured by previous studies. A summarized theoretical framework was used as a base to guide this thesis and illustrated that network capabilities are developed in projects through a process involving three stages: Establish relationships, maintain relationships and learn from relationships. The base of capabilities already maintained at the organizational level feed these stages, and the outcome of the process is the creation of network capabilities. Network capabilities further feed back to both the project level and the organizational level for further improvement, making it an iterative process. This thesis has found that the visioning ability, reputation building, innovation and flexibility used in project-based organizations all impacted a firm’s ability to create and sustain network capabilities. In line with this, confidence in network seemed to be the most edge able when selecting partners, increasing the chances of innovation including new partners to the network. Sustaining network capabilities is derived from the dynamic capabilities. Hence, the ability to adjust according to requirements for a complex product and making the new skills acquired useful in different relations on the next project.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Strategy - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2016