A collaborative network is a network consisting of a set of autonomous actors (e.g. enterprizes, organizations and people) that collaborate to achieve common or compatible goals. In a collaborative network each enterprize contributes with its own specific products or services to satisfy the consumer need. Actual collaborative networks are often risky ventures because there is no central coordinator. A collaborative network that emerges gradually is not subject to the same risks as the participants engage in the network slowly. We develop techniques for designing IT-enabled collaborative networks and validating the risk that they entail. Some of the risks threatening a collaborative network designed in advance are: • The risk of non-executability (no feasible coordination) • The risk of fraud or in general untrustworthy partners • The risk of non-profitability • The risk of loss of business-confidential data In this thesis we address the first three types of risks. Designing collaborative networks calls for modeling the collaboration of enterprizes from different perspectives, in particular the value and coordination perspectives, and for mutually aligning these perspectives. The need for these two models stems from the importance of separating the how from the what concerns. A value model shows what is offered by whom to whom while a coordination model shows how these offerings are fulfilled operationally. However, value modeling and coordination modeling have different goals and use different concepts. Nevertheless, the resulting models should be consistent with each other because they refer to the same system. The model which shows the creation, distribution, and consumption of goods or services of economic value in a collaborative network is called value model. The main goal of value modeling is to build a shared understanding of the business case and reach agreement amongst profit-and-loss responsible business actors regarding the question "Who is offering what of value to whom and expects what of value in return?" It also enables the actors to assess their potential profitability in the collaborative network to develop an insight into the economic viability and sustainability of the whole collaborative network. The study of the relation between value and coordination models is to address the executability of the collaborative network. The participating actors in a collaborative network are assumed to act trustfully in the collaboration and therefore trust is mostly left entirely outside the picture. However the assumption that business actors act trustfully is often not useful in practice (since there are malicious actors). Each partner agrees to act according to the value model, however during the business, actors need to be sure if their partners are acting according to the value model or not. Dropping the trust assumptions in business collaboration is to address the risk of untrustworthy partners. Finally, after taking the trust complications into account, we need to adjust the profitability and sustainability calculations according to the new setting and hence address the risk of non-profitability in the collaboration. The contributions of this thesis include: • Introducing a stepwise method to produce a consistent coordination model from a value model and vice versa in a multi-perspective e-collaborative network design. • Analyzing collaborative networks from a trust perspective and introducing an approach to measure the trustworthiness of the actors participating in a collaborative network. • Assessing profitability and sustainability of some special collaboration settings using game theory concepts and techniques and refining the initial profitability analysis of the collaborative network by taking trust into account. We evaluate our findings using some real business collaboration cases.
|Award date||10 Oct 2012|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Oct 2012|