This exercise can be found on page 30 in “Toolbox 2.0 for Strategic Leadership of Innovative Networks”. You can download a PDF version of the toolbox here.


Exercise 1: Try to draw up the business area (value chain) the network belongs to.

The next important strategic move is to define the network’s boundaries. What should be included naturally? Please notice that it is necessary to include elements from the regulatory sector if we are aiming for a complete triple helix collaboration.

Exercise 2: What would be a sensible limitation of the current network based on the design in our last exercise?

To map which benefits are most relevant for the different groups or actors that are part of the network, we may conduct a so-called contribution-reward analysis. This kind of analysis can be done by listing the most important groups of actors in the left column of a table. The next column describes with what this group contributes in the network, and the third column shows the rewards this group expects from the network collaboration. See table 6 (below) for a non-specific example. Even here is a chance where one will need preparatory work done by consultants or researchers in order to determine the contributions and rewards for the different groups.

Exercise 3: Create a table where the contributions and rewards (benefits) from and to the different actors in the network is shown, based on the results from exercise 2.

In order to determine member rewards we use functions in well-functioning networks stated in the VRI2 report (Nesse et al., 2014). Under the main objective, increased value creation, we may place secondary objectives connected to building legitimacy, innovation, knowledge development and sharing, and resource mobilization. See specific tools for these functions.

The third and last question we have is about how network in their latter growth phase may maintain interest in the network. In practical terms this means the network needs to find new ways of continuously creating value, e.g. constant renewal in the above-mentioned functions.

Exercise 4: How may the current network maintain interest among the members over time, and what does it take for members to prioritize the network? What obstacles are there to members spending time on the network, and how can this be addressed?

An example of stakeholder analysis is shown in table 6 (below). In your analysis, you can expand the table with two columns; one for obstacles and one for proper measures. You also may analyze fewer stakeholder, e.g. the five mentioned above as most important in a multi helix cooperation.

Table 6. Example of contributions and rewards analysis

This table is editable, but you can not save. Consider printing out this page if you choose to fill it out.
Actor Contribution Reward Obstacles Proper measures
Owners Capital, competence Surplus, dividends, institution building (“achieve something”)
Lenders Capital Interest, institution building (“the bank was involved in this”)
Employees Employment, expertise Wages, secure employment, opportunities for development and careers
Suppliers Goods, services, innovations Payment, feedback, quality management, communication of needs
Customers Payment, feedback, qualityu Goods, services, innovations
Competitors Marketing, innovation, possible partnership Provides the industry with attractive quality improvements
Interest organization Interests regarding management, environment, gender equality, procedures, etc. Better leadership, environment, etc.
Public sector (state, province, country) Laws, regulations, capital, expertise, contacts Tax, employment, local environment, social responsibility
R&D environment Expertise, research, dissemination Publication, cases for use in education, competence building

Creating member benefits should be viewed in connection with other functions, such as building legitimacy, innovation, knowledge development and sharing, and resource mobilization. See specific tools for these functions. From a strategic point of view, creation of member benefits needs to be considered along with the hedgehog concept and lifecycle.

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