- Persson-Fischier, Ulrika, et al.
Public and private networks in tourism – barriers to network identity construction and commitmen
- IntroductionDestinations all over the world encompass a broad range of stakeholders who all aspire to increase the tourism industry to accomplish regional development. At these destinations, there are many different stakeholders, who have mutual interest in a specific region, and there are different attempts to promote cooperation for joint efforts to attract visitors. Moreover, there is an increasing drive for municipalities to influence the tourism business as part of their regional development (Tillväxtverket, 2017).However, the aforementioned development of destinations has proven to involve competing interests between local, national and international stakeholders. Although private enterprises, the municipalities and on-governmental organizations, and residents have a common, or at least partly overlapping, interest in the development of a specific destination, competing interests will occasionally occur (c.f. Elbe et al., 2018). For instance, private businesses, like small local entrepreneurs, could be in direct competition with national or international corporations, despite the fact that they may have much to gain from joint marketing efforts (c.f. investment in a common brand). Similarly, public1organizations have a shared interest in the development of the tourism industry to increase tax revenues and job creation. However, municipalities have a greater responsibility for communities and its residents.As in many other sectors, public and private interactions are common within the tourism industry due to an overall reduction in public sector funding (Valente et al., 2015). Relationships between public and private actors are also set up to conjointly pool resources, share risks in the process of building, maintaining and developing public services (Keränen, 2017). Interactions between public-private actors have been acknowledged as important since these relationships enable firms to influence decisions within areas such as the public sector, rules and actions that can affect how the firm is perceived as legitimate or not (Hadjikhani, Lee, & Ghauri, 2008; Jansson, Saqib, & Sharma, 1995) but also as ways to develop new and existing resources. However, research has shown that uncertainty tends to be rather high in these relationships and the roles that the actors play are consequently dynamic and unclear. This in turn also affects how the actors perceive the cooperation between public and private actors (Keränen, 2017) and their commitment to these types of networks (Elbe et al., 2018). The sought after commitment would be enhanced if a mutual identity could be constituted; still the identity is established from how the stakeholders perceive their roles and relations to each other. So how could the identity of public actors merge with the identity of private actors to establish a mutual and common identity?Despite the apparent advantage to create a network to coordinate mutual, or at least overlapping, interests, it has proven to entail a number of difficult issues of which some will be addressed below. The combination of private and public stakeholders in one organization may have implications for its role and commitments (c.f. Elbe et al. 2009; 2018) i.e. it could influence the perceived identity construction of its constituents. The combination of public and private interests in the same organization could create tension; one perspective could have precedence over the other. For instance, if a publicly funded organization considers it to be its mission to only enhance businesses, there are stakeholder who could be overlooked, such as permanent residents, community services, and other lines of industry. Although the established networks are intended to work towards common goals, there may still be implicit and ambiguous goals, roles and identity formations.2The organizing of public and private interests in order to transform a place and its characteristics into a destination has proven to be a complex process. More research is needed in order to bring further clarity into factors affecting these types of relationships in terms of activities and resources (de Araujo and Bramwell, 2002) as well as how this affects the actors. Although there is a growing scholarly interest in public-private relationships, additional knowledge is needed on how the processes of these types of cooperation evolve (de Araujo and Bramwell, 2002). This is especially so in the context of created networks where the network is constructed rather than emerging and where the aim is to foster and manage activities, resource interactions and actor bonds.This paper sets out to further the understanding of interaction processes where public and private actors attempt to find ways to cooperate on a common issue. This is done by analyzing how the identity of a created network, consisting of public and private actors, develops over time. This paper focuses on explaining how a created network develops over time and why it evolves in the way it does. The purpose is to identify possible barriers to identity construction in a created network consisting of public and private actors. This is done through a case taking its point of departure in the decision of a major infrastructural investment in a destination in Sweden: the building of a new cruise quay on Gotland.Created public-private cooperation – previous research.Interactions between public-private actors have been acknowledged as important since these relationships enable firms to influence decisions within different areas such as the public sector, rules and actions (Keränen, 2017; Elbe et al., 2018) but also as ways to develop new and existing resources. These co-operations are encouraged by governments in many countries as interactions can facilitate the discussions and decisions related to how different activities evolve and are coordinated as well as how public resources are distributed. Moral responsibility and a way to recover citizens’ trust for politicians’ abilities to deliver on electoral pledge when resources are scarce has been emphasized as a reason for cooperation between public and private actors (Velotti, Botti & Vesci, 2012). In a tourism context, private-public cooperation can also increase the competitive advantage of destinations (Kotler et al., 1993).Over the last decades, a growing number of designated organizations for the coordination of tourist actors have been established using the concept of: Destination Management Organizations, DMO (c.f. Elbe et al. 2009). According to UNWTO (2018), the DMO’s3role should, “be to lead and coordinate activities under a coherent strategy in pursuit of this common goal.” The argument in research, and in practice, has been that these destination organizations can manage marketing and coordinate different actors from varying sectors in the society. Through this, it is assumed that the destination through facilitation of interactions among local actors and creation of networks can stimulate economic growth (Elbe et al., 2018). Hence, specific organizations are politically created to facilitate regional development. In addition, DMOs are proposed as a coalition of many organizations and interest although in practice, these organizations have proven to be composed in different ways, with varying performance (Tillväxtverket 2017). In order to understand the accomplishment the sought-after coordination of diverse stakeholder interests, a network approach has been suggested that encompasses inter-organizational relations (Elbe et al. 2018). The proposed network approach could take into account relations between organizations, not only limited to intra-organizational management models that do not encompass all stakeholders.Despite the numerous potential advantages of public-private interactions, they can be time- consuming and difficult as the participants come from different sectors and with deviating interests. Therefore, actors can perceive a risk that their power and influence may decrease. This can also lead to a lack of trust between the actors (de Araujo & Bramwell, 2002).Tensions and paradoxesInteraction between business actors are built around an economic rational. An assumption is that without economic incentives, interactions between business actors in networks will not come about (Håkansson, 1982; Finke et al., 2017). Different types of resources such as financial resources (capital), physical resources (time, technologies, people) and informational resources (knowledge) are exchanged and combined in new and unique ways through the interactions. Resources are through inherently dynamic and can always be used in new combinations within one relationship or in other relationships (Baraldi et al., 2012). An important condition and a factor influencing the interaction processes are the norms and perceptions of what constitutes the rules of the game. Through the interactions new norms for exchange can form and influence the continuation of the exchange. Whether to engage in the cooperation or not will be affected by previous experiences and expectations as expressed by Mousas and Ford (2009, p. 497): “Recurrent episodes are affected by the perceptions of the participants of their previous interactions and by their expectations of the future.” These exchange relationships, constitute the context in which interaction4processes between actors takes place (Easton & Håkansson, 1996; Håkansson & Ford, 2002; Håkansson & Waluszewski, 2002, 2007; Ritter, 2000).In tourist destinations, many of the resources used to attract tourists are public and common goods. The question of who owns these common goods is not always clear. Beaches, lakes, museums, culture heritage buildings are all resources that can attract tourists but that are public. Exchange relationships and agreement on how these public resources are exploited becomes essential for the survival of those organizations involved in developing activities around and dependent on the common goods such as in tourist operations. The value that the actors perceive can be captured and created in that specific relationship affects which relationships to engage in (Mouzas & Ford, 2009). Even if the relationships are beneficial and add value, conflicts are inevitable. This is especially the case when the collective interests are misaligned with the self-interests of the organizations. Finke et al. (2016) concluded in their analysis of company responses to climate change and their initiatives to cooperate around climate change, that the conflict between self-interest and the interests of the collective as well as the wider societal grouping, collided and hindered cooperation.Two factors that can affect the conflicts that arise are the size of the network and the number of actors that are involved in these networks (Ritter et al., 2004). The bigger the network and the more actors that are involved in interactions, the higher the diversity of perspectives, aims with the interactions and diversity of interests. It will be harder to find common goals and norms to follow. This is especially so in the case of common goods (Finke et al., 2016). The reason for this is that when participants perceive that resources are scarce there is a tendency among the participants to use integrative negotiation strategies, implying that the pie chart is limited and if one wins the other one loose. There are thus tensions or as Dittrich et al. (2006) preferred to call them, paradoxes, between trusting each other yet perceiving to be in control to safeguard the interests of the individual organizations. Håkansson and Ford (2002) discuss tensions between influencing and being influenced. Another tension is that created networks are aimed to form and exploit capabilities through interactions between private and public actors. In created networks, there is some set goal of the initiation of the network where members are invited to participate. By inviting certain actors, others are excluded. For a public actor the implication is that some of the decisions normally handled through democratic processes5are transferred into the network, with the risk of excluding non-members, which could be the citizens (Elbe et al, 2018) or other actors affected by the decisions. Still, if there is a common problem domain, and resources to solve individually are too scarce, the incentives to cooperate can be higher than the perceived risks.Network identity and rolesIdentity of an organization can be defined in different ways. “Corporate identity is defined as an inside view on the company, denoting how employees internally perceive their organization and how they aim to present it to the outside world. (Koporcic and Halinen, 2018). According Anderson, Johanson and Håkansson (1994) identities relate to how attractive an organization is perceived by its exchange partners. This is defined through the relationships that an organization is embedded in based in the activity links, resources ties and actor bonds. Huemer et al. (2004) discuss that the identity of an organization can be perceived as a collectively emerging phenomena. It is the identity that the employees of the organization share and can be understood as the attributes that makes the organization unique, that are fundamental for the organization and that it is consistent over time. It is through interactions within the organization that these perceptions are formed and constitutes what the organization wants to be. The identity becomes more stable, the stronger members identify with the organization’s identity (Huemer et al. 2004). When the identity is strong, the members are motivated to preserve the perceptions of the organization. Huemer et al. (2004) (Building on Dyer and Noboeka, 2000), arguing that the definitions of organizational identity also could be applied to a network identity setting. Members embedded in a network are primarily identifying with their own organizational identity but also with the identity of the network. “Creating an identity for a collective, be it a firm or a network, requires that members of the entity in question should experience a shared sense of purpose.” (Huemer et al., 2004:58). Analyzing a created network, the identity formation process is important to consider as a strong network identity can work as a strong arena for developing resources and activities, due to the strong sense of belonging to a collective we among the members/actors. In the forming of an identity, we argue that the sense of belonging and the identity is co-dependent on the formation of roles and shared responsibilities. Roles are defined as the expectations on behavior related to the different positions associated with an identity. This is thus related to the positions the actors have in the network, the perceived power and influence that different actors have in relation to other actors. A role is though also affected by the individual organization’s view6of what is expected of them in a given situation. This can be contrasted to the role expectations related to how others expect the organization to behave in a given situation. When different roles that an organization has are incompatible or when behaviors do not meet expectations, a role conflict exists. The identity and roles are in this paper seen as inter-dependent.Previous research on destination development and destination management organizations, DMOs, are often built on the assumption that different actors can be organized into efficient networks (Bornhorst et al., 2010; Volgger and Pechlaner, 2014). With this somewhat atomistic view, a DMO is assigned different roles i.e. marketing and promotion, planning and research, leadership and coordination, product development, partnership and team- building and community relations (see Mariani, 2016). In contrast, a network approach sees actors as embedded in interdependent relationships.The following presented case displays the complicated processes in the process of forming a network where existing relationships interfere with ambitions to form the network.MethodThe empirical research on which this paper is based has been conducted with an ongoing, longitudinal multidisciplinary research program at Uppsala University called Sustainable Visits. Within this research program background and context to the empirical case has been studied with an elaborated empirical understanding of the organizing prerequisites and the relations between different heterogeneous actors (c.f. Dubois and Gibbert 2010),Archival material has been investigated to understand and document the decision-making process around the new cruising pier on Gotland. Qualitative fieldwork with participant observation has been made extensively over the course of three years, following the association Gotlands Förenade Besöksnäring and GCN, the Gotland Cruise Network, by following the work of the then CEO and project coordinator of GCN.The specific material analyzed in this article is an interview study of all the members of the Gotland Cruise Network. Just over 40 phone interviews have been conducted by the four researchers authoring this paper. Most of the interviews have been conducted with two researchers, one asking questions, the other taking notes. All interviews have also been recorded. We have used an interview guide, with questions addressing the member’s perceptions about the network, the result of being a member for their own activities, etcetera. The interviews have been thematically analyzed, both deductively in terms of7comparing the respondents’ answers to specific questions we define as important, and inductively finding interesting themes within their answers that were unexpected but relevant to the overall question. The focus in the data collection was to capture incidents so that the information would give an understanding of the activities, over time and how different processes evolved and why.The ambition of the research team is to conduct new interviews with the members of GCN in the spring of 2019, to follow up on the development of the network, after the first seasons of cruise ships to the new quay.A case of a created networkThe background of the case takes its point of departure in that the quay to be constructed is leased by an international consortium, CopenhagenMalmö Port (CMP). This international consortium had an extensive network of ship owners and could thereby influence the number of cruise ships that would anchor at the new quay. As a prerequisite for signing the contract to enter into the leasing contract of the quay, the international consortium required that a cruise network was to be formed. To meet these requirements, the local authorities together with an interest organization founded a member organization that was to be financed through a combination of public and private actors. The local authorities, a member organization for tourism together with the international consortium that would rent the quay together financed one part of the cruise network and the members of the cruise network financed the other part. Potential members were approached and invited to join the cruise network. The aim of the network was to provide the members with information related to the new cruise quay, and to have the opportunity to influence decisions related to the construction of and the infrastructure around the quay. It was also proclaimed that the cruise network members would have the possibilities to form new relationships, exchange knowledge and experience on cruise tourism, and to take part in workshops to enhance their knowledge on cruise tourism issues. This network was named Gotland Cruise Network (GCN) and was formed 2017, three years after the Regional authorities had decided the quay would be built.With the new quay, the numbers of tourists were expected to double from 50 000 cruise tourists to 100 000 per year. Both the Regional authorities and the industry saw the necessity of co-operating to be able to present a destination that would be attractive to the visitors and address their needs. Taking care of cruise tourists when they come ashore is a complex task that requires almost clockwork coordination, so that all functions will be in8order for the few hours the many cruise tourists stay in a destination. Transportation, infrastructure with everything from information, sewage systems and signs, places to eat, sights to see, shops to buy souvenirs and bus tours with stops at interesting attractions, all need to be in place at particular times.The company Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP), which runs ports all around the Baltic, has rented the quay for a couple of decades to come and therefore have a large influence over the arriving ships. As a result, they are expected to have a great impact on how the industry and regional authorities will co-operate. The aim of the network was, as it was formulated:Through active cooperation with all relevant actors, Gotland Cruise Network will create the conditions for developing Gotland into an even more attractive, well-functioning cruise destination. (GCN web site, 171220)When establishing the network, it was decided that CMP and the Region Gotland would contribute with equal share economically. The budget for GCN was calculated to 650 000 SEK, and about 600 000 SEK was shared between CMP and Region Gotland. Other stakeholders, private companies and other organizations who wanted to become members, paid different member fees in relation to their possibility or the size of their organization. GCN was put within the framework of the association of the tourism industry on Gotland, “Gotlands Förenade Besöksnäring”, GFB. Taking on the leadership role of GCN has since the inception been run by one person, initially assigned as CEO (hereafter called CEO) who was recruited from another Swedish destination due to her competence in developing cruise destinations.When the newly formed network tried to motivate why different actors should become members, they stated the following opportunities of a membership:The network:- Provides access to continuous information on developments in the cruise industry- Provides the opportunity to participate in the activities the network organizes exclusively for its members (eg ship visits, seminars, study visits, study trips etc.)- Provides the opportunity to meet, collaborate and create new business opportunities with other actors in the tourism industry engaged in cruise tourism- Provides the opportunity to participate in and influence the development of Gotland as a cruise destination9The members of the network were, as we have seen, offered a mix of information, education and the opportunity to create new collaborations. Apart from all that, the network also made a list of all things that had to be done before the first cruise ship arrived. It was a long list with headlines like: Logistics and infrastructure in and around the quayside, inventory regarding transportation, inventory of existing sightseeing tours, development new sightseeing tours, educate actors in the visiting industry in language, regarding what a visitor except, hostess, mapping existent guides, more guides need to be trained. At the very beginning, the network decided on establishing five working groups, where the members were expected to sign up for at least one of the groups. The membership presupposed the member to participate in two hours long meetings four times per year, and above that to be active in the working groups. The different groups were: Infrastructure and transport - on quay and adjacent area, Guides, Urban environment and trade, Inventory and development of products, Marketing and Internal PR. These working groups corresponded to the same kind of working groups in the public sector, Region Gotland. The idea was that the corresponding groups on the public and the GCN network side would collaborate on the same questions, each providing its specific competence and resuming its appropriate responsibility. The GCN network also assumed the role of marketers vis-à-vis the shipping companies and towards the visitors when they stepped of the boat on the Island.The initiation phase – high involvement and commitmentThe working groups started in an active way identifying different issues related to the activities identified as important for the cruise season to work smoothly. The actors contributed with their own experiences and started to discuss ways to combine different capabilities that would meet the needs of cruise ship owners and tourists. The motivation to engage in the discussions and working groups was high. Reasons for becoming a member and paying the fee, were the possibility to influence decisions related to the quay, to get the information needed to plan their business and to grow the business by being part of forming the decisions related to the cruise ship tourism.Frustration growsIn the interviews, a number of participants from the working groups stated a frustration about having put in so much hard work -- not paid for -- into developing a list of issues that needed to be solved. “A lot of workshop with concrete suggestions, but it never rendered10any concrete results. They [regional representatives] do not seem to act or care.” (Respondent A) Some respondents expressed their disappointment regarding that the suggestions brought forwards by the working groups, were not taken care of by the public stakeholder.The CEO who was coordinating the GCN, expressed a frustration in that the participants in the working groups did not grasp that it was they themselves that were responsible for taking action on the issues they identified. However, she also expressed frustration in relation to the low engagement and commitment of the representative of the region and the representative from CMP. Frustration grew and in a common member meeting it was decided that the working groups could not continue since the commitment of the members in these working groups were too low. One respondent stated that time was a restrictor in this. “I do not have the time to sit in endless number of hours in the working groups. I have a job to do. And if there is no action on the suggestions we come up with, why should I?” That the working groups were dissolved was though not that clear to the member: “I was part in a working group, but I do not know what happened. We have not had any meeting for a while... I do not know...” (Respondent B). Although working in the smaller working groups was perceived as creative and concrete, no actor could identify a new relationship that they had engaged in. A reason stated by many of the respondents, was that there already existed strong relationships between certain actors and it was hard to become a part of them.Phase three –low commitmentAt a later stage the working groups were often inactive and the meetings were at that period concentrated to large member meetings where the representatives for CMP and the regional representative informed about the progression of the construction of the quay. A recurrent issue raised by the members was how visitors would be transported from the quay into the main city and the rest of the island. Answers were lacking. Frustration grew and members required that the region start giving answers to how transportation would be solved. Also CMP was asked to describe what the quay would look like and how they would handle bus transports and shuttle buses. A local actor running a tourist train suggested that the train could be used instead of shuttle buses, as buses were a restrained resource on the island. CMP turned down the idea. Based in this, members started to question the purpose of the GCN.11In January 2018, some members started to question whether they would keep paying the membership fee. Members did not feel that they could influence any decisions, nor be part of forming the processes around planning the quay.At one meeting, the lack of influence became obvious. The representative of CMP was presenting the progression of the quay. In the presentation, he presented that the buses would drop off visitors at another point than previously stated. This drop-off point was beyond the location of a local actor had placed their business so that it would be on the way that the visitors would pass from the ship. The CMP representative further informed the participants of the meeting that they had decided to assign the contract for shuttle buses to an actor from the capital on the mainland. A problem though was that this actor had not yet set up any business on the island of Gotland. The members of the meeting were really upset by the information. The actor, who had offered to take the tourists with the tourist train, was the same one who had placed his business in the location that would be on the way for the visitors. This actor started to raise a number of questions on how the decisions were made and why the members of the GCN had not been asked or informed prior to the contract. At that point an emerging uprising mood became apparent. The CEO of GCN stepped in to negotiate and to ease the rough atmosphere. Since the members all had a high confidence in the CEO, they calmed down. The critical voices towards building the new quay grew in strength. Many expressed concerns on how they would be able to inform their own organizations about the lack of involvement in the decisions. Many of the participants were representing member organizations themselves and different types of public and private actors. When asked, many members stated that they wanted more out of the network but as they perceived the network, they did not see how they could or would devote more time and effort to the network. It did not meet the expectations any more.Analyzing the caseThe actors argued that the roles and responsibilities for taking action on decisions were unclear both within the individual organizations as well as within the created network. An example of this is how the public actor’s original role as initiator of the network was discarded and could perhaps be described as signs of ignorant memory. To conclude, the aim set up for the network turned out to not be in line with the deviating interests among the public and private actors, where the private actors’ expectations for the network were12misaligned with those of the public actors. A number of barriers to the development of the network are could now be identified, that we develop below.Barriers of organizational identity vs network identityMembers of the network felt a strong sense of commitment initially. The notion of the network was initially clear and stated in the offerings of what the network should be able to deliver to members. As the Working Groups started to deliver, the clashes between the expectations of the members and the lack of clear responsibilities and roles in the network meant that the results from the work groups were not perceived as acted upon. Eventually this emanated in a conflict between the expectations and the actual results. The members also started to see conflicts between the engagement in their own organizations and the time spent and the perceived expectations on their roles as participating members. A barrier for the interactions to develop into new relationships within the constructed network seems to be related to the misalignment between the original organizational identity and the created network identity.Barriers of the emergent and existing relationships vs the created network intention.Gotland has been a tourist destination for a relatively long period, with a few very strong actors running a large part of the local business. These have long-lasting relationships, which even go back in generations. The GCN network thus was preceded by strong, lasting relationships. Many of the additional, smaller, newer, actors have not always been able to penetrate into these already existing, closed relationships. Many newer members of GCN did in the interviews, express frustration regarding this imperviousness. Thus, already existing relationships and bonds between established actors seems therefore to prevent establishment of new relationships within created networks, as well as influence or even obstruct formation of a sought after mutual identity.Barriers of misaligned self-interest and group interest.The CEO of the network assumed that the main task for the network was to further the common interests of all stakeholders, by engaging in solving common problems. Many of the members though, according to our interviews, failed to see the reason for them to continue engaging in the network since they could not see any direct benefits for them.Barriers of trust vs control.Many of the members expressed that they perceived that the original initiators of the network, the municipality and the CMP international consortium, intended to keep control over decision making, which consequently did not contribute in building trust between the13members. The incident when one entrepreneur whom wanted to provide shuttle buses was turned down by CMP, at the expense of someone who was not even yet established on Gotland, seemed to break the trust for some of the members.Barriers of public vs private interests.Initially, when the Working Groups were still active, with corresponding groups at the public stakeholder, municipality, there was a notion of a joint ownership and commitment of and responsibility for mutual problems. However, as the members felt that the work they did in the Working Groups had no direct effect on the subsequent decisions taken, they came to see their work as not meaningful. Later, the corresponding working groups at the public, Regional side imploded (when the project manager became ill and there was no replacement), the members felt that the public side failed their responsibility and counted on the private actors to solve all the problems on their own. They then expressed that they felt somewhat let down by the Region.Barriers of engagement and lack of mandate to actAmongst other things, after the incident with the turned down shuttle bus traffic and the closing down of the Working Groups, there was less engagement in the network. Our interviews indicate that the lack of engagement coincides with a feeling of lack of mandate to act – if the Region and CMP did not listen to us, and make their own decisions, why should we bother?ConclusionsThe analysis of the case shows that the formation of the created network is characterized by confusion and irritation related to what the aim of the network really is. The first initial face did show a high motivation and engagement in activities among the new members. The members describe a high motivation to participate and commitment as they involved themselves in working groups. The identity of what the network was and what roles members were to play where perceived as clear, creating a commitment to the idea of the network. As time went by, it though became questionable for the participants what the purpose and role of the working groups were. The perceived interest of the local authorities and their commitment for acting upon the ideas, generated by the working groups, did not respond to the expectations of the members. Moreover the engagement, commitment and motivation fell as a consequence and the aim of the network was questioned. In particular the negative commitment and the uncertainty about the identity of the network were deteriorated as the representative of the international consortium (CMP) presented decisions that had not been anchored in the network. The role of the CMP was perceived as going from an active to a passive or even a contra productive one. The common interest and supporting of ideas, which Elbe et al. (2018) pointed out as crucial for networked destination organizations, is missing in the case. Internally, within the network, the interactions were initially active and constructive but the lack of communication regarding who should be responsible for turning suggestions into actions, and the role of the different actors, decreased the commitment. Hence, it was not clearly articulated how the roles were. Roles were not clear in terms of who did what and what the responsibilities of the different actors were. As a consequence, this hampered the identity formation process. Subsequently, the network became an information platform where the private actors’ participation was to protect their self-interest rather than to find opportunities for cooperation. Different types of barriers can be identified as hinders in the processes of developing activities and re-combining resources, which in the end result in lack of commitment and loss of the network identity. This paper contributes by identifying the barriers and also shows how the process of created networks go through different phases characterized by different conflicts.