How does a firm keep on being valuable in a network? One requirement is that the firm has a sufficient overview of the network and its dynamics. In other words, a firm's strategy depends on the firm's overview of the network—its network horizon. How comprehensive or limited should its network horizon be? Is it necessary to know the network beyond the direct counterparts? Such issues have not received much attention. In this article, we discuss network horizons and argue that limited network horizons are both inevitable and useful. However, such myopia requires that a firm's counterparts effectively and efficiently mediate between the firm and the rest of the network. Based on a case study, we introduce and discuss three mediating functions of counterparts: a joining, a relating, and an insulating function, and we claim that in order to support a firm's strategizing, managers need to analyze and influence counterparts' mediating functions and thereby the firm's network horizon.
- Network horizon
- Intermediary functions