Importance The article deals with the networks, a relatively new type of organizational structures, and the enhancement of their role in the economy. Objectives The aim of the work is to systematize the theoretical approaches to the analysis of network structures and their application to the analysis of structures in the Central and Northwestern Federal Districts. Methods For research, I used predominantly economic-statistical methods and the existing theories of analysis of network structures. Results I have considered the network structures of organizations and institutions of different kinds of contractual relationships; analyzed the advantages of network structures, typical for large companies: access to rare and unique resources and the possibility of sharing, economies of scale, the so-called synergistic effects, business networking, strategic alliances, and associations on the basis of long-term contracts. In addition, I marked the advantages of network structures, typical of small businesses: first of all, flexibility, the ability to quickly adapt to changes in the external environment under conditions of high competition, as well as the ability to mitigate risks by sharing them between different economic actors, i.e. network members. On the basis of statistics, I have analyzed the innovative component of network structures in the Central and Northwestern Federal Districts. In addition, I have identified the problems of analysis of network structures in the economy, specified the factors that affect the methodology for the analysis of network structures, and analyzed the innovative aspect of network structures in the Central and Northwestern Federal Districts. Conclusions and Relevance I came to a conclusion that the methodology for the analysis of network structures is influenced by many factors: regional and sectoral characteristics, the type of network structure and its purpose. Also, I found that in the Central and Northwestern Federal Districts, the innovative aspect is not decisive for the formation of networks, with the exception of large cities and agglomerations.
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