New value creation in business networks: The role of collective action in constructing system-level goals

Juri Matinheikki*, Teemu Pesonen, Karlos Artto, Antti Peltokorpi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
267 Downloads (Pure)


This study focuses on collective goal formation in business networks aimed toward new value creation and innovation. Previous research has depicted such networks as value-creating systems or meta-organizations pursuing a system-level goal. We develop these views by addressing a research question: How can multiple organizations collectively form a system-level goal, and how does this affect new value creation at the level of the whole network? We conducted a multi-case study of two Finnish health care networks in which multiple diverse organizations participated in the formation of a system-level goal for the network and developed innovative joint treatment practices for the better care of patients. We derived six propositions and developed a conceptual model explaining how the collective formation of a system-level goal is linked to network-level value creation by increasing network actors' resource commitment. Furthermore, we introduced important moderating factors, network architects and domain similarity, which affect collective goal formation. We claim that the conceptual model strengthens pre-existing theories on managing business networks through a system-level goal, collective action, framing, agenda construction, and institutional mobilization. We contribute especially to previous research on networks aiming for new value creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-133
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Collective action
  • Goal formation
  • Meta-organizations
  • New value creation
  • Strategic business networks
  • System-level goal


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