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Bringing the firm back in: Networking as antecedent to network structure

Network Strategy

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

Publication date: 25 July 2008


In the network strategy view, relative competitive advantage stems not merely from opportunity structures embedded in networks but also from the distribution of ability and motivation among firms. Thus, there is a need to “bring the firm back in” to the network strategy narrative. We demonstrate that a mixed-methods design, blending large-sample data with micro-data on specific firms and their networks, can increase our understanding of the interplay of network structure and actor mechanisms, thus bridging the chasm between theory and practice in network strategy. We believe this is a critical step toward the “strategic design of networks.”


Madhavan, R., Caner, T., Prescott, J. and Koka, B. (2008), "Bringing the firm back in: Networking as antecedent to network structure", Baum, J.A.C. and Rowley, T.J. (Ed.) Network Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 457-501.



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