Objective – Institutionalism as an adaptation theory has contributed to
understanding of the changing characteristics in governance structures.
At the same time, community ecology has enhanced the evaluation of
change within organizational communities. This study aims to analyze
the relations and interactions of a business network, using institutional
Design/methodology/approach – We applied the methods of
institutionalism, as an adaptation theory, and community ecology, as
evolution theory, in a network comprised of 45 businesses. Data for
the flow of resources and institutional ecology were obtained using two
separate instruments (designed by the researchers). Netdraw was used
to graphically represent the various layers of the network and Ucinet
6 to generate the matrices.
Findings – While theory identifies information, services, decisions,
solutions and money as resources, as far as the workers in the businesses
researched are concerned, the first four flow naturally within the
business network, but money is perceived as a resource that should
always originate in the other nodes of the ecosystem.
Practical implications – Network stakeholders will make decisions
that both strengthen relations among the members of the institutional
arrangement and support the selection of institutional contexts more
favorable to performing their activities.
Contributions – This is the first work that applies economicevolutionary
theories in order to analyze the relations and interactions
within a business network.
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