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Het nut van netwerkorganisaties: een kwalitatief onderzoek naar de organisatorische en persoonlijke functies van een lidmaatschap bij een netwerkorganisatie

Damveld, Judith (2012) Het nut van netwerkorganisaties: een kwalitatief onderzoek naar de organisatorische en persoonlijke functies van een lidmaatschap bij een netwerkorganisatie.

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Abstract:The concept of networking plays an increasingly important role in the successful functioning of organizations. Nowadays there are even network organizations that companies can join via a membership. Although we already have some knowledge about networking, this knowledge is often derived from quantitative studies about individual or organizational functions of networking in separate organizations. The Dutch Council of Shopping Centers (the NRW) therefore commissioned a qualitative study of the individual and organizational functions of a membership of their network organization. The study consisted of thirty face-to-face interviews with individuals from the different disciplines that are represented within the network. These disciplines were: project developers, retail, and government. Among the participants were 22 members and eight nonmembers of the NRW. The non-members were all familiar with the network and attended at least one meeting. The interviews were based on the Critical Incident Technique (CIT). The Critical Incident Technique was chosen to understand the specific knowledge and experiences of participants. The Critical Incident Technique focused on events in which personal or organizational advantages and/or disadvantages of the membership of the network organization were experienced. Apart from the critical incidents, a number of general questions about the network organization were asked. The results showed that, apart from individual and organizational functions, there is also a third category: a combination of individual and organizational functions. These functions are beneficial for individuals and organizations. The functions of the various categories are closely related, but there are also differences to note. The functions are explained below. The organizational functions are knowledge functions, network functions and positioning functions. The knowledge function for organizations consists of knowledge that organizations gather within the network. Organizations use this knowledge as a basis for organizational innovation. The network function for organizations consists of the entry to relations and the expansion of their network. Organizations use relations to achieve business objectives. The positioning function consists of the possibilities for organizations, offered by the network organization, to be visible within the network. The individual functions consist of knowledge and network functions. The knowledge function of individuals consists of the personal development individuals gather by participating within the network. Members develop new insights and skills (example: presenting, discussing) within the network. The network encourages the development of incubators (under 35) particularly within the network. The network organization organizes additional meetings for them. The difference between the organizational network function and the individual network function is the use of the network. Individuals use relations to find a job and for information and knowledge gathering. The individual and organizational functions consist of knowledge and network functions. The knowledge function consists of the knowledge that members gather within the network and that they can apply in their job performance. The network function relates to the use of relationships to achieve job-related purposes. Through the network the lines to relations are shorter and a staff member can switch faster. Both features ensure that an individual can perform his duties better. When an individual performs better, the organization also performs better. 8 The distribution of the function to the disciplines differs mainly for retailers. Retailers score lower on the organizational knowledge function, on the individual knowledge function and on the knowledge function of the combination category. Retailers give hereby announces that the discussed subjects within the NRW are of little relevance to them. They feel misunderstood by the other disciplines within the network. As a result of this there is a lack of confidens among retailers and they are less willing to share knowledge and information within the network. Because they have less information and knowledge exchange they realize fewer new insights. Therefore the knowledge function is less effective for them. All disciplines said that there is an imbalance in information and knowledge input within the network through the disciplines. They also appointed that the knowledge is sometimes insufficient profound. The network provides a coordinating and facilitating role for members. They organize meetings in which they bring members together in a network. During these meetings they stimulate knowledge development. Therefore an active participation of the members is relevant. Participants experience the informal setting of these meetings as positive. This promotes the sharing of knowledge between participants and contributes to the trust that members experience within the network. Also face-to-face contact and the physical interactions during meetings have positive affect on experiencing trust in relationships. Network organizations are advised to examine issues that are important for all participating disciplines within the network. If this is not feasible, then it is better to organize general meetings and targeted meetings. Also an equivalent information and knowledge input of the disciplines is important. Therefore it is recommended to limit participation of members of the various disciplines during meetings. Finally, the knowledge depth is important for members of network organizations. Members need sufficient depth of information transmission and knowledge sharing. The task of the network is to offer members this information depth.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Nederlandse Raad van Winkelcentra (NRW)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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