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Actor utilities, strategic action and network evolution

Network Strategy

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1442-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-531-4

Publication date: 25 July 2008


The arguments in this chapter address all three of the questions motivating this volume on network strategy. First, they focus on the issue of network evolution and show how networks can emerge and change over time. Second, the chapter tackles the issue of endogeneity and shows that, under certain conditions, some structural advantages do precede rather than follow network positions. Networks evolve over trajectories and the trajectories matter. Third, the arguments respond to the core question of network entrepreneurship: does the awareness of structural advantages available to network positions inspire managers, acting on behalf of organizations, to seek these advantages? In responding, this chapter challenges the idea that filling structural holes necessarily confers advantages on the actors filling them. It follows that the advantages of bridging are dependent not only on the network structure, when decisions regarding tie formation or deletion are made, but also on the costs of forming and maintaining ties relative to the benefits obtained from doing so.


Doreian, P. (2008), "Actor utilities, strategic action and network evolution", Baum, J.A.C. and Rowley, T.J. (Ed.) Network Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 247-271.



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