Network Change as a Battle of Ideas? Analysing the Interplay Between Idea Structures and Activated Structures
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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How should a network be organised? In what direction should it change? In networks actors have distinct network positions which are defined by their connected relationships. If an actor wants to change this network position by altering his connected relationships or respond to the actions of others, he will most likely face differing and perhaps conflicting views and ideas about how the network should be organised. This “battle of ideas” will arguably have an effect on the resulting network reconfiguration. To understand network dynamics we therefore need to understand how interaction reflects the actors’ perceptions, ideas and knowledge of their network. This interplay between ideas and action is the focal point of this paper. After expanding on a theoretical framework provided by Håkansson and Waluszewski (2002) which highlights this interplay, we apply it to an empirical study of the Japanese distribution networks of Norwegian fresh salmon. Here, traditional fish distribution is undergoing increasing pressure to change by actors questioning its efficiency.
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