A business network is a complex network of companies, working together to accomplish certain goals.
Several descriptions of business networks stipulate different types of characteristics:
- "A business network is far more than the business itself. As we have seen, it incorporates suppliers, customers, third-party developers, distributors, and others. These outsiders must have a reason to support your network and remain active in it."
- "A business network is generic and includes both smart and not-so-smart business networks.
- "A business network is owned by the business enterprise, where the scope of the network is to support the informational and operational requirements of the business such as marketing, sales, accounting, and manufacturing departments..."
With the increasing interest in business networks, there is also an increasing in interest in "the notion of ‘network pictures’ amongst researchers in the field of business-to-business marketing. Network pictures are managers’ subjective mental representations of their relevant business environment."
Study of business networks
In the late 20th century the study of business networks emerged in the specific field of industrial markets. Researchers concentrate on questions such as "what is happening underneath the visible flows of products, enquiries, sales visits and negotiations, and beyond the visible growth and prosperity of some companies and failure of others". Snehota & Hakansson (1995) explain:
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