Organizational networks: Toward a cross-fertilization between practice and theory

WG Biemans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sweeping changes in the global marketplace have caused firms to restructure their ovganizations. In an increasing number of firms this has led to the development of a network organization. This article presents a brief survey of various disciplines that have come to use network concepts as part of their repertoire, such as sociology, economics, industrial marketing and purchasing. From this survey we conclude that there exists a gap between academic research and management practice. There is a need for a move practitioner-oriented approach. The main part of the article discusses TeamNet Tools, a management-oriented, integrated set of concepts, tools, and software designed to develop and manage networks, and thus bridging part of the gap between theory and practice. TeamNet Tools revolves around boundary crossing teamnets that can exist at different levels, such as small teams or strategic alliances. The discussion focuses on the main elements of TeamNet Teals and offers a critical analysis. The article concludes with the observation that, in addition to consultancy-based efforts such as TeamNet Tools, further knowledge and understanding about networks can only be achieved through true cross-fertilization between theory and practice. This requires the initiation of systematic research an questions that are relevant to practitioners, leading to an accepted body of network theory based on tested hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-1996

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