Network Structure in Service Ecosystems: An Empirical Study in the Region of Campania

  •  Marco Ferretti    
  •  Eva Panetti    
  •  Adele Parmentola    
  •  Annamaria Sabetta    


The objective of this study is that of exploring the relational dimension of service ecosystems with specific regard to the structure of their networks, by conducting a social network analysis. In particular, this work attempts to primarily unveil which types of network configurations (i.e., open, closed or small words) are typical of service ecosystems. Secondly, we explore the nature of the most central actors in these networks. To these purposes, we conduct an empirical study in the Region of Campania (Southern Italy) by analyzing six regional service ecosystems in different sectors. We gathered data from the PONREC platform (Programma Operativo Nazionale "Ricerca e Competitività" 2007-2013) in order to map links among the actors in all six ecosystems. Main results show that universities and research institutions occupy brokering positions within the service ecosystems’ networks. This, in turn, suggests the efficacy of public regional initiatives in favoring the establishment of forms of collaboration between organizations of different nature. Finally, our findings show that service ecosystems are characterized by open and small world network configurations. This paper contributes to the literature focused on service ecosystems’ networks by providing an empirical and quantitative approach to the analysis of their relational characteristics.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.