Links strong enough to create reciprocity, weak enough to preserve autonomy. The main idea supported in this research is that a simple network of actors/ companies involved in a system of relations is not a sufficient condition to create the premises for economic growth, competitiveness and innovation of a collaborative group. To create a successful business network, it is necessary a common aim sharing, oriented to the “We-relation”. The research has also tried to classify the types of Corporate or Business networks that currently exist (subdivided into vertical, horizontal, transversal, informal and tracking the existence of meta-networks) as well as understand how to establish relationships capable of determining positive results in terms of effectiveness, innovation and sustainability. Based on the parameters identified and the results of the analysis of specific case studies, profiles have emerged that could act as ideal models of networks and “excellent and successful business communities”. With the word “community” we do not intend nor the strong meaning of “type of social relations at the base of a community that involves the individual as a whole” (too stringent definition that belongs to a classical sociology still influenced by the thought of Tönnies and followers) neither the structural-functionalist sense that it merely defines the community, “a group of members who share a series of operations repeated over time within a territorial area” (definition that, starting from Parsons, has influenced generations of structuralist, functionalist and systemic sociologists, but also economists linked to the mainstream economic thought). With the word ‘communities’ (and consequently ‘community’ in the equivalent virtual world) we mean, following a relational meaning: “organizations or subjects/persons who intend to build practices based on shared goals and values by establishing meaningful bonds of reciprocity, directed both to the profit and the construction of relational goods”: with no reciprocity of values there is no durable profit and vice versa. This is also the reason why we decided to give a meaningful title to this research: The relational organization, that is the bridge through which it is possible to build an excellent network of businesses. The subjects belonging to a network contract can also operate without sharing, necessarily, the same territory and/or area of belonging, but a community must have “physical” places where periodically meeting without tying up all the work to the shared place. Another assumption of the research is that “weak links” seldom lead to high-risk business, and at the same time, to the construction of relational goods. This is why a network that was born without an interpersonal relationship stabilized and frequently repeated over time, it is not intended to affect an association of companies which seek to change organizational procedures improving at the same time, profits. Granovetter's theory of weak ties is on, from certain points of view, resized. The Links are strong enough to create reciprocity, weak enough to preserve autonomy.
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