We propose an information-based view of the dynamics of network positions and use it to explain why bridging positions become stronger. We depart from previous network dynamics studies that implicitly assume that firms have homogenous information about the network structure. Using network experiments with both students and managers, we vary a firm's network horizon (i.e., how much information a firm has about the network structure) and the network horizon heterogeneity (i.e., how this information is distributed among the firms within the network). Our results indicate that firms with a higher network horizon occupy a stronger bridging position, especially under conditions of high network horizon heterogeneity. At a more general level, these results provide an indirect validation of what so far has been an untested assumption in interfirm network research, namely that firms are aware of their position in the overall network and consciously attempt to improve their position.
van Liere, D.W., Koppius, O.R. and Vervest, P.H.M. (2008), "Network horizon: An information-based view on the dynamics of bridging positions", Baum, J.A.C. and Rowley, T.J. (Ed.) Network Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 595-639. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-3322(08)25017-5
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