Network management in emergent high-tech business contexts: Critical capabilities and activities

Fredrik Nordin*, Annika Ravald, Kristian Möller, Jakki J. Mohr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Due to their inherent uncertainty, emerging high-tech business fields require a unique set of network management capabilities. Drawing from the dynamic capabilities literature and the networking capability literature, we develop a framework for network management in such environments. The framework consists of three interrelated capabilities - context handling, network construction, and network position consolidation. A longitudinal case study of a start-up company in the smart energy sector validates and provides an illustrative understanding of the three capabilities. The findings identify how they are enacted through a portfolio of activities, providing a microfoundational insight into how a focal actor in an entrepreneurial and explorative manner navigates and manages a business field in the making. Our research contributes a novel conceptualization of network management capabilities with an explicit focus on attracting, establishing and managing relationships in the complex and uncertain environment of emerging high-tech fields. In addition, our research offers guidance to managers with respect to the capabilities they need to galvanize and coalesce actors in an emerging business network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-101
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Disruptive innovation
  • Emerging business field
  • High-tech
  • Network capabilities
  • Network management
  • Turbulence

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