Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 320039-M-6
Smart Business Networks
Course info
Course module320039-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Economics and Management; TiSEM: Management; TiSEM: Management;
Is part of
M Information Management
dr. M.T. Smits
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
Course mode
Registration openfrom 23/03/2020 up to and including 21/08/2020

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define performance indicators (KPIs) at firm level, network level, and team level and analyze the effects of different KPIs at different levels on business performance;
  • Explain and predict the impact of IT (applications and infrastructure) on (1) the business strategies of firms in a network, (2) intra- and inter-organizational business processes in the network, (3) the organizational structure of the business network, and (4) the performance of the business network;
  • Analyze, evaluate, and suggest alternatives for changes in structure, process, and performance of business networks by using (1) Coordination Theory, Transaction Cost Theory, Resource Dependency Theory, (2) Networkability assessment tool, (3) Strategic Alignment Model, (4) Extended Strategic Alignment Model;
  • Analyze and evaluate the effects of organizational structure, business processes, ICT, and coordination mechanisms in a business network on the performance of the network over time, and advise on business and IT innovations.

Recommended Prerequisites

Information Systems Strategy, Business Networks and Inter-Organizational Systems
IT is everywhere and triggers organizations to work together in business networks based on smart use of IT. This course focuses on recent developments in e-business networking theory and practice. Key questions in this course are "why are some firms succesful in building inter-organizational relationships?" and "why are some business networks more succesful that others?" To answer these questions, we use theory on Smart Business Networking (Van Heck and Vervest, 2007), Networkability Theory (Osterle et al, 2001), and the (extended) Strategic Alignment model.
The course consists of weekly lectures (2x2 hours) and several group assignments. For the main group assignment, students choose one business network, analyze the structure, functioning, IT, strategy and performance of this network (including analysis of smartness and networkability). Finally, hypotheses are tested, the future performance of the network is predicted, and practical recommendations are given.
The overall aim is to understand how IT affects networkability (interoperability) of the firm and how firms can create smart business networks. It provides a management perspective on the processes of choosing, adopting and deploying e-commerce strategies and applications as well for new start ups (so called 'dot com companies') and for existing 'old economy' businesses.

Note that since this is an elective course, the course focus may change from year to year. In Spring 2018, the course focus was on how Blockchain technology can enhance business network perfomance. For coming years, we may focus again on Blockchain technology or on other technologies (Internet of Things Devops, etc). depending on your preferences and recent industry and societal developments.
Type of instructions
Lectures and group sssignments
Type of exams
Written exam (60%) + paper (40%)

Compulsory Reading
  1. See information Blackboard.

Recommended Reading
  1. Osterle, H., Fleisch, E. & R. Alt, Business Networking: Shaping Collaboration Between Enterprises, Springer, 2nd Edition, ISBN 3-540-41351-0.
Course available for exchange students
Master level, conditions apply
Contact person
dr. M.T. Smits
Timetable information
Smart Business Networks
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk / WrittenEXAM_01BLOK 4108-06-2020
Schriftelijk / WrittenEXAM_01BLOK 4201-07-2020
Required materials
Recommended materials

Final grade

Kies de Nederlandse taal