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The paper examines network development and reconfiguration in the aftermath of industrial restructuring. The research combines a sensemaking approach with process research into business network development. A longitudinal case study examines a unique setting and critical change processes created by the restructuring of an old industrial site. Managers of businesses, previously belonging to a multinational company, initiated joint R&D in a networking context, putting their resources to novel use by creating a biorefinery initiative. Their previously intra-organizational relationships were turned into inter-organizational relationships and over time additional, and other types of actors joined the growing network. The individual actors are key drivers in the upcoming situation and their sensemaking and acts form key processual elements in sensemaking and network development. The study contributes to research on network reconfiguration and network orchestration. It has practical implications for managerial action in times of crisis and turbulence and for the role of individuals in creating novel business networks.
5. Discussion, conclusions, and implications
5.1. The sensemaking and reconfiguration processes In sum, the case relates the story of how, in response to the critical event of MoDo's reorganization, a group of resourceful managers interacted in sensemaking, sensegiving, and sensetaking processes by meeting in informal groups, sharing interpretations of the change process and its likely consequences, and seeking cues for action. This process of identifying cues in the form of common interests as well as opportunities for collaboration, and of framing them in a way that was appealing not only to internal but also to external actors, was on-going from the start. It has resulted in increasing and innovative cooperation not only among the companies represented by Processum's initiators but also among an increasing number of additional actors. In other words, the involved managers and units that had become separated during MoDo's reorganization were able to recreate some of the previous R&D cooperation and, moreover, formed a joint network with a number of additional actors in order to facilitate innovation (Spekman, 2000). Processum's initiators, and those who later became involved, were able to perceive, interpret, and construct the meaning of the emergent situation, and to reframe and change the agenda during the emergent process (Moller, 2010 € ). Over time, they developed a shared biorefinery vision allowing the embedded actors to comprehend the world and act collectively (Wlaar et al., 2006). As a result, the region's original resources have been extended and recombined in new, shared R&D projects and the number and range of relationships have grown considerably. In 2012, the core of the network (i.e. 20 members/shareholders of Processum) was cooperating in various efforts with about 160 other cooperation actors and new activities had been developed in the interfaces between the connected network actors. In sum, a novel structure of relationships and resource combinations, i.e. a reconfigured network, had been formed.