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“Network Process Re-Engineering” in a Home Textile Network: The Importance of Business Relationships and Actor Bonds

“Network Process Re-Engineering” in a Home Textile Network: The Importance of Business Relationships and Actor Bonds
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Author(s): Enrico Baraldi (Uppsala University, Sweden) and Giancarlo Nadin (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Milano, Italy)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 23
Source title: Fashion Supply Chain Management: Industry and Business Analysis
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Tsan-Ming Choi (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-756-2.ch012

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Abstract

This chapter relies on a case study featuring the business network around Stella, an Italian home textile manufacturer, to illustrate the challenging issue of engaging other firms into complex “Network Process Re-engineering” (NPR) projects. While the strict technological dimension of selecting, developing, and implementing ICT solutions is certainly very important and poses several challenges to this type of projects, this chapter focuses on other types of challenges, namely those pertaining to the nature and quality of relationships between the actors taking part in a NPR project. We stress the importance of the connection between the specific inter-organizational activities that need to be redesigned and coordinated in better ways, on the one hand, and the bonds existing among the actors, on the other hand. We suggest that very advanced and complex coordination tasks, entailing sensitive communication patterns, can be tackled only if supported by strong, integrative relationships characterized by high trust and commitment between the involved parties. We conclude by discussing how the pivotal firms or the “strategic centers” of a network can support and facilitate complex change projects like NPR by carefully combining different strategies, whereby they both exert coercive power and make concessions to their counterparts in the network.

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