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Type: Journal article
Title: A radical constructivist approach to boundaries in business network research
Author: Guercini, S.
Medlin, C.J.
Citation: Industrial Marketing Management, 2020; 91:510-520
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0019-8501
Statement of
Simone Guercini, Christopher John Medlin
Abstract: We contribute to the business network literature by presenting and introducing a radical constructivist research approach, in which we foreground sharing the context of an actor's understanding of interaction. We elaborate the approach by illuminating the problematic issue of boundaries in business network research. We conceptualize boundaries as inter-action spaces and times where differences are created, maintained and changed in a physical-social setting. We make a distinction between boundaries and borders, with the latter being simply representations. We undertake a review of select realist and social constructivist business network literature to distinguish and elaborate the potential of a radical constructivist perspective, as an alternative approach. The approach appears most useful when the researcher and interview participant do not have a convergent understanding of the research phenomenon. Further, a radical constructivist approach is eminently suitable for settings where inter-action conditions and content are changing, for example in times of crisis or network change. We present the metaphors of castles and frontiers, as illustrative research tools suitable for a radical constructivist study of boundaries in business networks.
Keywords: Border; Boundary objects; Context; Inter-action; Metaphor; Spatial and temporal research
Description: Available online 30 April 2020
Rights: © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
RMID: 1000021113
DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.04.014
Appears in Collections:Business School publications

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