Home > Articles > Business & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Meeting the Challenge of Networks

Shifting thinking and action is particularly challenging for mature and established companies. In our discussion of these issues with senior executives, they have raised practical questions such as this: How can managers move from the theory of network effects to implementing these concepts with a management team when the next item on the agenda is the quarterly financials? Ground-up new ventures such as eBay, Wikipedia, and Google have brought a radically different worldview, but their lack of a legacy has been an advantage in this process. Established firms face the more daunting challenge of making the leap from the firm-centric world to a networked world, without undermining their existing business and commitments of current stakeholders in it.

In some cases, the changes may appear at first to be incremental. This can lead to the “boiled frog” syndrome, in which managers don’t recognize the significance of the change until it is too late. The development of the Internet itself percolated behind the scenes for many years, confined primarily to academic and military circles, before the minor innovation of the web browser made it a transformational force in business. This is what Ron Adner and Dan Levinthal (2000) have called “technology speciation,” using a term from evolutionary biology to describe how technologies are transformed by a leap into a new domain. What might initially have looked like a difference of degree becomes a difference in kind. It appears that we may see the same kind of speciation with respect to networks, in which a number of small changes add up to very different models for business and different approaches to developing strategy and competencies.

The speed of network development is one uncertainty, and another is the models for networks that might emerge. Although we sometimes discuss “networks” as if they were a single concept, the models for networks that could emerge—and are emerging—are diverse. We need to understand the differences among these networks. Some, for example, may operate like formal orchestras, whereas others may more closely resemble the improvisational performance of a jazz quartet. Some will need conductors, whereas others will self-organize. What are the different types of networks and which ones work best in a given situation?

Some of the implications of this shift to a network-centric view are already beginning to emerge, as illustrated in Table 1-1.

Table 1-1. Network-Centric Thinking

Firm-Centric Thinking

Network-Centric Thinking

Leadership

Command and control

Self-organizing/empowered

Value creation

Firm-centric products

Network-centric experience

Innovation

Internal R & D

Open innovation

Core competencies

Firm-based core competencies

Network orchestration and learning

Competition

Firm against firm

Network against network

Risks

Local and direct

Systemic and interdependent

Finance

Appropriating rents

Building and sharing value

Marketing

Mass marketing

Mass contagion

Operations Focus

Efficiency

Flexibility

HR

Superstars

Supernetworks

The insights summarized in Table 1-1 are just the beginning. The role of networks and our understanding of them continue to evolve rapidly. This is largely uncharted territory, both for business disciplines and for the social and natural sciences that inform these disciplines. We are all learning what this world means. The challenge of understanding networks is like the old fable of the blind men trying to provide an accurate description of an elephant—except that it is a herd of elephants and they are all in motion, and they have not only observable physical characteristics but also unobserved motivations, knowledge, and attitudes. Any attempt to freeze the action to see what is going on or predict where the herd will go next, though useful, is necessarily limited. The act of concentrating on a specific aspect of networks such as human resources or alliances, or a type of networks such as terrorist networks or biological networks, necessarily leaves out part of the picture. We hope that by gathering individual experts from many disciplines and probing this phenomenon from many angles, we can overcome some of the blind spots that each may bring to the task and help illuminate the true nature of these networks and their significant implications for business.

The implication of networks ranges from the survival and growth of our businesses to the future of the planet, as we address highly networked issues such as international trade, global warming, and terrorism. Understanding networks is critical at every level, from personal decisions to business decisions to the broadest policy issues facing our world. We hope this book will help put the changes that are playing out in the structure of the global economy into a broader context for managers facing the challenges of leadership in the emerging networked world and for our colleagues as we attempt to shed new light on these phenomena through research.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020