The paper analyses the initiation and management of inter-organisational networks, spanning both the public and private domain. Specifically, bracketing the institutional level and combining literature on communities-of-practice and network management, we turn our attention to managerial activities which are no longer de-contextualized but understood as highly situated activities. By doing so, the paper elucidates the crucial role boundary spanners have in alleviating discontinuities across institutional boundaries. Furthermore, we untangle the temporal process which led to the successful formation of an innovative network, namely stabilising the network, initiating a cognitive shift towards a network strategy, and developing a supportive culture and practices. These ideas are developed by presenting a processual account of an interpretive case study on inter-organisational network formation which was part of a research programme for designing and studying the feasibility and implications of electronic government/industry interaction.