Bridging Islands: Boundary Resources in Solution Networks
Ruiqi Wei (emlyon business school), Susi Geiger (University College Dublin), Roisin Vize (Technological University Dublin)
To offer diverse customized solutions simultaneously, solution providers are now using digital platforms to connect and coordinate a large and dynamic business network. In this context, solution providers use boundary resources – the individuals/boundary spanners who span interorganizational boundaries and the interfaces that help coordinate interfirm relationships – to coordinate their networks. As solution processes become modularized and digitized, technical interfaces may take over or complement the functions of boundary spanners. Boundary spanners in turn may gain new functions due to these changes. Thus, this study explores how solution providers utilize different boundary resources simultaneously to orchestrate large and diverse solution networks. The findings reveal the functions of boundary spanners and those of interfaces in the solution process. Our research also shows how boundary spanners and interfaces interact to assist solution providers in orchestrating their large and dynamic business networks.