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A metric for collaborative networks

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Purpose ‐ The objective of this paper is to provide a metric that could be used to define success in a collaborative network. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The methodology of this research consists of four stages: Review, Constructing, Testing and Description. Review stage comprised of a critical review of the literature in order to understand the characteristics of collaborative network organisations and the reasons behind the successes and failures in collaborative networks. Construction stage resulted in development of a metric for collaborative networks. Testing stage tested the model through case study in a collaborative networks organisation. The outcome of the case study was discussed at the description stage to assess usability and usefulness of the metric for participants in turn to generate conclusions. Findings ‐ The result clearly demonstrated the need for measuring all perspectives of collaboration and highlights the potential pitfalls of measuring perspectives that can be measured easily. Research limitations/implications ‐ The case study of the research is limited to a single collaborative network. The fact that this collaboration has been engaged for more than a year in order to develop a particular product with lack of mutual understanding represents the usual limitations of the new "organisation". Further research is required with larger sample sizes and with longer time in collaboration to confirm and enhance the conclusions of this paper. Practical implications ‐ The model provides a practical way of assessing three networks' measurements with respect to their objectives. It also provides a useful mechanism for facilitating a discussion between partners in a network. Originality/value ‐ This paper contributes to the body of knowledge by developing a methodology for measuring partners' contribution, involvement and outcome in the collaborative network as a system within IDEF0 functional modelling. The contribution measurement uses analytical hierarchy process (AHP) approach to measure partners' contribution. Likert scale is also applied to measure the health of the relationships based on key performance indicators of relationship attributes. Analytical with mathematical approach is employed to measure the partners' outcome of the collaborative network
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Keywords: Co-operative organisations; Corporate strategy; Networking; Partnership

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 12, 2008

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