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Key Partners (Value Networks)

Key partners or value networks delineate which aspects of the value proposition are performed amongst the firm’s partners (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2002). SEs are characterized by a large network of partners and supporters to create their desired change (Watson, 2004). This network is crucial for the success and achievement of social value creation as it allows for a broader awareness of the social benefit at different societal levels. This includes partners such as: local and national authorities, private and non-profit sectors (Evers & Schulze-Boing, 2001) enabling commitment, political support and wider availability of resources (Guclu et al., 2002) in particular, social capital (Spear, 2006). These value networks can create competitive advantage to achieve collective objectives (Knoke & Todeva, 2002), add value and distribute power (Brandenburger & Nalebuff, 1996) and value creation in general (Amit & Zott, 2001). Consequently, they have been defined as an essential element of SE (Chesborough & Rosenbloom, 2002; Hamel, 2000).

Value networks can span from sourcing, production and distribution, providing solutions and products that complement the offerings of the firm, providing financial support in times of need and can even serve to create new business models (Mair & Schoen, 2007). Consequently, allowing a combination of economic viability and social value creation results in long term sustainability (Mair & Schoen, 2007). It is argued that successful SEs design creative strategies to attract partners (Sommerrock, 2010) from a very early stage (Mair & Schoen, 2007). In the case of hospitality and tourism enterprises, partnerships with key stakeholders in the hosting destination are vital to providing the economic, social and human capital needed to create innovative and sustainable developments. This is evident in several of the case studies in Sect. 3 this book.

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