IJMB Journal – Abstracts
International Journal of Management and Business
IJMB Volume I, Issue 1
On the Right Track? Network Strategies for Innovation and Renewal
Markus Fellessona and Patrik Gottfridssonb*
Designing sectorial regulations that promote innovation and development is a key concern for many authorities throughout the world. There is plenty of discussion about how such regulations should look, both in the field of economics and among new public management scholars. However, missing from this discussion is the perspective of those who are regulated, and who are supposed to provide the entrepreneurship and create the innovations that are sought. In this paper, we supplement research into regulations and de-regulation with a “user” perspective which we base on; a) research into industrial networks and b) the insights and experiences of the people actually being regulated.
In a series of case studies, we have investigated how private and public actors in the railway sector have interpreted a new regulatory framework. We have also investigated how (and to what extent) this has spurred renewal and innovation among them. In particular, we focus on how they perceive their roles and how they have acted in order to make use of the new opportunities created by the changes. We also relate our results to the ambitions of the regulators.
A key finding emerging from these studies is the profoundly embedded nature of the strategizing processes. What we see is not a free market of independent actors; instead, the railway sector is a complex network of dependencies and interactions. This is in line with previous research into industrial networks, but it is also a situation not usually accounted for in the deregulation literature, where ideals concerning classical free markets prevail.
Keywords: Service Innovations, Embeddedness, Networks, De-regulation, Railways