Ekosysteemit ja verkostojen parviäly: Tulevaisuuden liiketoiminnan suuntaviivoja

Translated title of the contribution: Ecosystems and Swarm Intelligence of Networks: Agenda for Future Networked Business

Katri Valkokari (Editor), Jaakko Salminen (Editor), Anni Rajala (Editor), Merja Koskela (Editor), Kari Kaunisto (Editor), Tiina Apilo (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch


Success in the dynamic and competitive global markets of the future cannot be guaranteed through fixed and slowly evolving network structures. Our objective with this publication is to present a new model of networking that enables companies to better respond to future challenges. We also intervene in the terminological discussion surrounding networked business by discussing the broad scope of current research on networks and by defining key network terms. The primary goal, however, is to shape a new operative model for the networked businesses of the future. We use the ecological concepts of ecosystems and communities to frame the new model of networked business. In addition, through the closer examination of swarm intelligence and self-organization, we assess the applicability of these concepts for structuring business networks. Network models acquired through an analysis of natural ecosystems are discussed as metaphorical structures that help highlight key features of the network phenomenon. Metaphors are thus utilized as tools for creating novel ways of understanding the world and for forging common ground between the network perspectives of different scientific and scholarly disciplines. Contractual practices within networked business models are examined through legal tools that allow network idiosyncrasies to be taken into account from a legal perspective. Here a core message is that network members must be able to contract over networked cooperation even when this may prove challenging. Then, examples from ecological organization are used to illustrate problems related to contracting over networked cooperation and procedures that may help structure networks through contracts. Finally, we present ecosystemic business as the means for solving the business challenges of the future. We outline the concept of ecosystemic business through a comparison to existing models of business networks, pointing out differences in the two as groundwork for fruitful further development. Ecosystemic business, in which business actors are connected through similar customer needs and a need to cooperate, is described on multiple operative levels ranging from individuals to companies and finally to swarm networks. Additionally, we will discuss how flexible contracting and communal information exchange cultivate ecosystemic business. This publication is based on a multidisciplinary approach. Business networks are examined from the perspectives of management, organizational psychology and innovation studies. With the help of biologists, concepts such as natural eco- 5 systems, swarm intelligence and self-organization are used for modelling alternatives to traditional business networks. Communication sciences have a key role in helping utilize the metaphors and analogies founded in biology also in other fields of research. Finally, legal scholars help evaluate contractual practices in current models of business networks and identify room for further development in flexible contracting to support the operative processes of dynamic swarm networks
Translated title of the contributionEcosystems and Swarm Intelligence of Networks: Agenda for Future Networked Business
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages106
ISBN (Print)9789513880897
ISBN (Electronic)9789513880903
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
SeriesVTT Technology

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