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Network Position and Identity: A Language-Based Perspective on Strategizing

Schepis, D.; Purchase, S.; Ellis, N.

Network Position and Identity: A Language-Based Perspective on Strategizing Thumbnail


D. Schepis

S. Purchase


This article explores processes of strategizing within business networks by showing how managers employ sensemaking to cope with network paradoxes. It takes the linguistic turn to analyze how participants discursively construct their organizations' identities and positions within a ‘designed’ network context. In doing so, the paper attempts to answer the research question posed so provocatively over a decade ago by Håkansson and Ford (2002): by exploring how companies interact in business networks. Our contribution is to show how firms interact by taking a language-based perspective on strategy to help understand the links between network, organizational and micro-levels of social construction. An in-depth discussion of a case study is presented, with particular emphasis on the identity-constructing processes affecting (and affected by) the positioning and strategizing of various network actors. We conclude by reflecting on the theoretical and practical contributions of our analysis, the latter focusing on tensions in Indigenous business development.


Schepis, D., Purchase, S., & Ellis, N. (2014). Network Position and Identity: A Language-Based Perspective on Strategizing. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(4), 582-591.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2013
Online Publication Date Feb 26, 2014
Publication Date May 1, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 4, 2013
Publicly Available Date Mar 25, 2014
Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 582-591
Keywords Network position and identity, Strategizing in networks, Linguistic turn, Network paradoxes, Business development.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (600 Kb)

Copyright Statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Industrial marketing management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version will be subsequently published in Industrial marketing management, 2014, 10.1016/j.indmarman.2014.02.009

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