Using case methods in the study of contemporary business networks

Halinen Aino, Jan-Åke Törnroos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    677 Citations (Scopus)


    Business conditions have changed significantly since the first notions of networks in industrial marketing were made in the early 1980s. Globalization and the so-called “new economy” are based on continuous change, the increasing use of information and communication technologies and complex networks of relationships between firms. This being the case, we should look more closely at how networks are constituted and how they currently function. This paper gives perspectives on how to conduct case research for understanding contemporary business networks. Four imminent challenges of case research that aims at theory development are discussed: the problem of network boundaries, network complexity, the role of time and case comparisons. Potential tools and ideas for solving these problems are put forward. A multicountry research project on business networks is used as an illustrative example. The paper ends with a discussion about how to conduct case studies in practice including implications
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1285–1297
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • time
    • case study research
    • Case method
    • Business networks
    • Network context

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