Friday, March 04, 2005

Value Chains and Production Networks

Once again it seems like the universe is trying to tell me something. Here's what four different people (mutual strangers all) have told me in the last two weeks, in chronological order. Note that I am not standing by any of these comments (though they all come from reputable sources), but just noting them for their cumulative effect:

"Organizational SNA is not a viable economic model."

"Network analysis is huge, but not how you'd expect. It isn't organizational. It's at the business strategy level."

"I'm not into social networks anymore. Now it's value networks."

"Our foundation promotes the production network approach [as opposed to social networks]."

In pondering these statements, I did a little research and ran into one of my personal pet peeves, the chaotic maelstrom where business and academic jargon collide. For anyone else intrigued by the above statements and seeking some solid ground on which to discuss them, I recommend the 11-page pdf "How Do We Define Value Chains and Production Networks" by Timothy J. Sturgeon of the Industrial Performance Center at MIT.

For additional perspective, see also this chain of posts.

7 comments:

Valdis said...

Hmmm... let me take some guesses...

#1 - Don Steiney

#2 - Someone from BCG

#3 - Verna Allee

#4 - Someone from Barr Foundation

Actually, 1,2, and 4 are very similar and have overlaps in the eyes of IBM Global Services and myself... Rob Cross and Steve Borgatti would
probably agree also. We NEVER look at purely *social* networks... it is a mix of social, task, strategy, career, knowledge and innovation
networks. See this survey of mine from the early 90s... only Q2 [The Grapevine] is a social network.
-- http://www.orgnet.com/INSNA/survey.html

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