The environment of Dutch housing associations is changing rapidly. These social landlords are faced with various problems, such as disturbance in the housing market, the complexity of inner city regeneration and a considerable growth in the number of elderly people. To deal with these problems, housing associations are obliged to deploy their existing resources and develop new ones. For that purpose they are increasingly forced to co-operate with other partners. As a consequence organizations become more and more involved in networks and their boundaries are blurring. However, using the term "network: probably raises more questions than it answers. What is a "network" and why are they coming into existence? To understand these developments this paper will examine the theory of network building. It aims to answer the following two research questions: (i) What is the structure of a network? and (ii) Which new competences can be developed in such a network? After a short introduction to Dutch housing associations and their scope of activities in the first section, the paper discusses the "resource based approach" in general and the concept of "core competences" in particular as part of the network-theory. It then discusses the different forms of co-operation in the network of organizations. The case of Trudo is used to illustrate how a housing association is able to take on new challenges after developing several core competences in new forms of co-operation with several stakeholders in its network. Finally, some concluding remarks and suggestions for further research are made.
- Housing associations
- Strategic sourcing