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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

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Journal of Strategic Marketing, 2000, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 183-196


Two important domains of scholarly investigation over the last decade, competency development and networks, share important common ground. These domains are also comprehended gainfully in terms of their wider strategic underpinning. This paper first contends that competence is considered best in terms of the particular strategy–structure–shared values constellation of a firm. This enables competence, including marketing competence, to be understood in terms of competency deepening (within the conventional marketing function), broadening (marketing activity which must be shared and co-managed with other parts of the firm), and of partnering (essentially, the ability to manage alliances, networks and relationships between the firm and other parties). It then explores this ‘partnering’ competence in more depth. To manage and develop networks involves nurturing expertise that has a strong marketing focus. On a tactical level, there is the ability to manage relationships and trust, to negotiate with partners, to establish legitimacy, and to monitor the ongoing costs and benefits of network involvement. On a more strategic level, there are issues of network choice, ‘network myopia’ and network disengagement.


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