What is really happening with business networking and cooperation between enterprises

During realization of the project CREDO Krajina, various contacts with enterprises have enabled us to hear different stories about challenges enterprises are dealing with in their work, different and interesting experiences, examples of (non)cooperation, useful advices and lessons learned in the past. Looking for suitable method for systematic collecting, analyzing and disseminating useful stories, we have discovered possibilities that SenseMaker, a new tool for collecting and analyzing narratives, offers.

SenseMaker works on principle of collecting narratives from respondents, who enter and classify their stories by themselves, which helps to avoid distortion that is sometimes caused by expert’s analysis of stories. Results of research are qualitative and quantitative data, that have narrative explanations in the background.

In the last half year, we were participating in intensive training and working on the applications of SenseMaker tool. Training is implemented by Cognitive Edge (http://cognitive-edge.com/) from London, that designed and is improving SenseMaker, tool for analyzing narratives. Training includes practical use of the tool, during which narratives are collected and analyzed. So far, we have had two intensive trainings on using SenseMaker tool for analysis, the last one in January 2016 in Istanbul, where we were introduced to analytical possibilities of the tool and where collecting the narratives got it’s true meaning. Last week we shared our knowledge and experience with our colleagues in Eda, and we believe we induced interest and curiosity about final results of the research among our colleagues similar to ours.

Our research, which we are conducting using SenseMaker, is focused on how enterprises see networking and what are their, positive or negative, experiences regarding cooperation with other enterprises. We see enterprises’ point of view as decisive, because it is usually not taken into account enough when trying to encourage and strengthen their networking and cooperation. Both, international projects in B&H and domestic policies and support instruments, focus part of their support more and more often on so-called cluster initiatives, mostly without good information about how cooperation between enterprises really works and what affects it’s initiation and development.

Our past work with the new tool gives us arguments to claim that analysis of collected stories will give us enough data and information that will help us and others to better design and monitor initiatives focused on improving business networking.

If you want to join our efforts and „try“ new tool, you can do it here (Serbian only): http://merlion.sensemaker-suite.com/collector/collector.gsp?projectID=FOIBH2015&language=bs#Collector

Jelena Prohaska