FINAL REPORT: REBUS “Towards Relational Business Practices”

Towards Relational Business Practices – DIMECC REBUS (2014-2017) approached the collaborative business settings – partnerships, alliances, networks, ecosystems – through system thinking, aiming to challenge the forerunner firms to take major leaps in developing their business, as well as fundamentally to change their underlying mindset of managerial behaviour. Altogether, approximately 300 people – both business professionals from 23 companies and academics from 7 research partners – participated directly in the DIMECC REBUS programme. The programme had a strong focus on global networks and research collaboration, with a total of 16 international research partners. The final report presents the research results and impact of the DIMECC REBUS programme through the business cases.

The DIMECC REBUS programme has been an essential phase in continuing the research work that was started in DIMECC’s Innovation and Network (I&N) programme (2009-2014). The DIMECC REBUS final report introduces highlights from the programme and presents 20 practical business case examples, which – following system thinking – are organized from macro to micro level: the publication starts from cases describing the change process in the business ecosystems (Part I), continues with network structures (Parts II-III), turns to relationship management (Part IV), and finally presents the exploration of the network capabilities of case companies and state-of-art contracting as a network practice (Part V).

Though the final report focuses particularly on companies’ perspectives and learning, besides these practical outcomes, the academic results with 155 publications, 8 doctoral and 14 other theses, are engrossing. In addition to the final report, also a jointly written book “Practices for network management – In search of collaborative advantage” (published by Palgrave Macmillan) with 36 REBUS authors involved presents a collection of the programme results in the form of network management tools to be used in an inter-organizational context. Ambitious scientific goals of the programme included a new theoretical approach – the systems approach to networking and both this final report and the Palgrave Macmillan book are a starting point for the broader academic discussion.

Find the REBUS final report here.

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