Supply network strategy: role and competence requirements

C.M. Harland, L.A. Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an argument that it is possible for an organisation to manage networks, but understanding this involves consideration of what is meant by "managing". Based on prior research and data from a major longitudinal action research study in the health sector, the paper describes six network management roles: network structuring agent; co-ordinator; advisor; information broker; relationship broker; innovation sponsor. The necessary "assets" for effective performance of these roles are identified, in particular those relating to team competence. The findings enrich and significantly develop previous work on network management roles and activities, and their influencing factors. It is concluded that, given the specific nature of the networks studied, further research is required to evaluate the generalisability of the findings, though initial indications are promising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-489
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


  • supply
  • networks
  • roles
  • competences


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