Moving Up the Ladder: Firm, Chain, Network... Community?



The network perspective on the performance of interorganizational relationships has important advantages over firm and chain views. It highlights the multidimensional nature of performance and calls to attention the possibly conflicting interests of the network orchestrator, its partners, and its customers. So, where do we go from here? What is the next challenge? In this talk, I will discuss the potential advantages of expanding business network research to the community level of analysis. Community, here, refers to the overlapping networks of competing network orchestrators in defined areas of business activity, such as automotive retailing or mortgage lending. The community perspective highlights a few important issues that are not always in clear focus in the network perspective, such as the activities of interorganizational coordination hubs and the public’s interest in network and community performance.

M. Lynne Markus is the John W. Poduska, Sr. Professor of Information and Process Management at Bentley University and a Visiting Professor in the Information Systems and Innovation Group at the London School of Economics. Her current research focuses on automation in mortgage lending and securities trading and on IT management and governance in large organizations and networks. She had been funded by the National Science Foundation to study IT governance and standardization in the mortgage industry. She is currently the Principal Investigator of an NSF workshop to develop a research agenda on Big Data’s social, economic, and workforce consequences. Markus was named a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems in 2004 and received the AIS LEO Award for Exceptional Lifetime Achievement in Information Systems in 2008.