This study introduces the concept of business network commons as valuable, fragile resources that are available for partnering firms' collective use but that also require users' engagement and collaboration to be protected and/or (re)generated. Building on the theory of commons and the literature on self-organizing networks and organizational fields, this study identifies organizational variables that shape the network's local organizational field and play a relevant role in protecting and developing business network commons. These variables are participatory architecture, organizational integration, and the presence of specific mechanisms for opportunism prevention and resolution. The fsQCA analysis suggests that specific combinations of these three organizational variables at network level enable high firm performance through the development and protection of business network commons. The boundary conditions under which different network-level organizational configurations can equifinally lead to high firm-level performance depend on the different possible levels of fragility of the business network commons at stake.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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