There’s an interesting video here by Andrew Shipilov, INSEAD Associate Professor of Strategy, and Tim Rowley, Professor of Strategy at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. It focuses on the power of networks to deliver competitive advantage to companies. These networks can be with partners, competitors and numerous other groups that can help an organisation.
Central to the message is that partnerships should not be looked at in isolation. Instead, you should look at how your partners fit together in your particular ecosystem.
“The structure of these alliances and how firms manage them matter for their costs, matter for their efficiencies, matter for their ability to differentiate, matter for their ability to innovate, and essentially matter for their ability to become profitable,” said Shipilov.
This central thesis forms the bulk of the recently published book on the topic by Rowley and Henrich Greve, INSEAD Professor of Entrepreneurship called Network Advantage. The book promises to be an interesting addition to this field, and builds upon the excellent Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler.
The one The book promises to be a good read, although it does appear to omit the rise in knowledge networks typified by crowdsourcing and open innovation in recent years. Given the impact these knowledge networks have on productivity and competitiveness, it does seem rather a strange oversight.
Anyway, here’s the video. See what you think.