Changes in the theory of interorganizational relations in marketing: Toward a network paradigm

  • Ravi S. Achrol
Marketing In The 21st Century


The marketing environment in the 21st century promises to be knowledge rich and very turbulent. The classic, vertically integrated, multidivisional organization, so successful in the 20th century, is unlikely to survive in such an environment. The evidence indicates it will be replaced by new forms of network organization consisting of large numbers of functionally specialized firms tied together in cooperative exchange relationships. This article explores the characteristics of four types of network organization that may represent prototypes of the dominant organizations of the next century. These include the internal market network, the vertical market network, the intermarket network, and the opportunity network. The economic rationale and the types of coordination and control mechanisms driving network organizations are very distinct from those studied under the current exchange or dyadic paradigm. This article analyses the kinds of changes involved in key variables and their meanings in moving from a dyadic view of exchange to a network view.


Marketing Social Norm Network Organization Relationship Marketing Opportunity Network 
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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ravi S. Achrol
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityUSA
  2. 2.the Department of Marketing, School of Business and Public AdministrationThe George Washington UniversityUSA

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