In loosely coupled networks information exchange is likely to be informal, indirect and ad hoc.
We have to be careful to distinguish linear, casual, loosely coupled networks from equally local and linear artisanal networks with strong goal alignment that enhances transparency, such as the "farm to table" local supply movement (Paxson 2008; Stone and Richtel 2009).
Company A initially had a tightly coupled structure but, with the sale of its internal supplier in 1996, moved toward a loosely coupled network structure (A' in the bottom-left quadrant).
Following the introduction of digital electronics and the problems it faced in the integration of this new fast-moving technology, Company C moved toward a loosely coupled network structure (C' in the bottom-left quadrant).
Both Company A and Company C adopted loosely coupled network structures to manage developments in digital electronics technology that was characterized by a faster rate of change than in gas turbine technologies.
We have argued that in complex products like aircraft engines, firms are capable of adjusting to the differing organizational requirements related to integral and modular innovations by maintaining a loosely coupled network structure.
We also focus on the specific coordination mechanism on which loosely coupled networks rely and which differentiates them from tightly coupled and decoupled networks.
For instance, the analysis by Orsenigo, Pammolli, and Riccaboni (2001) of pharmaceutical firms and their linkages with biotechnology firms hints at the existence of loosely coupled networks in drug development.