عنوان مقاله [English]
Aim and Introduction. Business has taken on a new form in modern times. The diminishing role of geographical borders in the production and delivery of products and services along with the development of the Internet considered as the most important factors that distinguish the current business from traditional businesses. To know. By examining the trends, a comprehensive view of past studies obtained and the forthcoming studies made more targeted. Business networks are a field of study that seeks to analyze complex types of repetitive exchanges. Discussion on how to analyze networks can prepare Iranian businesses to enter into systematic collaborations within business networks.
Methodology. The main question of the research is what categories of research in the field of business networks have? What is the process of changing the focus of studies in this field?
This study has used systematic mapping and phonological analysis method by thematically classifying the researches in the field of business networks. The research of this study based on Scopus and Web of Science databases in February 2016. Based on the systematic mapping method, between 1990 and 2021, 431 articles selected for abstract and keyword analysis and 56 articles selected for full text analysis. Vocabulary analysis through Vosviewer software clustered three main groups of studies: structural approach, cultural approach and relational approach. These three main approaches to business network analysis include 11 sub-categories. Most studies have focused on the structural approach.
Findings. The new trends show the change in the approach of business network analysis to the relational approach, which has become the dominant approach in business network analysis since 2017. Based on the keyword analysis used in these 431 articles, the most recent keywords used in business studies as follow: emerging markets, social networks, competitiveness, network processes, internationalization, values, dynamic capabilities, and interaction, respectively. In the next step of the study, a layer added to the analysis in order to take a closer look at the field of business network studies. As mentioned, three approaches to business network analysis identified in the next step, which included the relational approach, the structural approach, and the cultural approach. In this step, three repetitive keywords used in each approach selected as criteria to reduce the number of articles and increase their focus. The selected keywords for each cluster were as follows: Structural approach: competition, hierarchy, cooperation and small and medium enterprises; Cultural approach: internationalization, co-competitive and case study; Relationship approach: trust, commitment and change. By including these nine keywords in Vosviewer software, 56 articles obtained which were the basis of the final study reviews.
Discussion and conclusion. Reviews of previous articles based on titles, keywords and, if necessary, abstracts. At this stage, however, the entire text added to the reviews. The results of the analysis of these 56 articles have led to the categorization of the three main approaches into 11 sub-research topics. The least researched topic among 11 sub-categories of research is the effect of the number of relationships on the performance of business networks. The trend in the use of keywords, as well as the reference to network analysis approaches, both indicate a significant shift in the analysis of business networks. Since 2017, the dominant approach has changed to a relational approach. Keywords have also emphasized this. Of the top eight keywords in 2020, 5 are in the relational approach. This approach and related studies can be an attractive field for interested researchers. Companies now need to set up specific committees to analyze possible future collaborations, formally or informally. This committee can provide a good platform for the company by examining the suitability between possible options for future cooperation and the conditions required to enter it. One of the important suggestions for future research is the initial focus based on the theme analysis method and review of studies in this field based on the proposed framework. Using coding for the content of articles in this field can make the categories more accurate and the results clearer. Another study could be quantitative and based on the number of keywords used. The relationship between the performance of real networks in business and the approach of their managers to the network (among the three approaches introduced) can be another research suggestion.