Changes within activity patterns through network tensions

Bella Butler, Sharon Purchase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate business network activity patterns and how they change when actors experience tensions. Design/methodology/approach: Four tensions, developed from previous literature, are considered in relation to how they influence activity patterns. A longitudinal case study focusing on the modernization of an international airport illustrates how tensions experienced by actors influence changes in activity patterns. Findings: Results highlight that when tensions in relation to network position are experienced activity patterns are more likely to break and form new patterns. When multiple tensions are experienced within the same period, an old activity pattern is more likely to be broken and the new activity pattern develop. Research limitations/implications: Contributions in relation to interdependencies between activities heighten the impact of changes leading to the breaking of existing patterns, particularly the importance of coordination activities. These findings are context specific because activity patterns vary according to the industry. Practical implications: Practical implications indicate that understanding network interdependences within the change process is important, particularly for co-ordination activities. The study informs practitioners about possible outcomes while tensions are experienced. This study found that when actors are experiencing multiple tensions, breaking of activity patterns is more likely to occur while experience less tensions extending existing activity patterns becoming more likely. Originality/value: Contributions are made in relation to gaps in investigating the business network activity layer and their changes in relation to tensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2219-2230
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number12
Early online date9 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


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