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Transitioning From Strong Ties to Weak Ties in Emerging Economies

aUniversity of Texas at Dallas, USA
bGeorge Mason University, USA

Informal Networks in International Business

ISBN: 978-1-83982-879-9, eISBN: 978-1-83982-878-2

Publication date: 5 August 2022


In the absence of well-developed, formal institutional frameworks, informal network-based strategies have been argued to be especially viable in emerging economies. However, some empirical research has challenged these earlier theoretical arguments. In light of new evidence, this chapter develops a contingency perspective differentiating firms' networks as strong ties and weak ties. It suggests that while strong-tie networks are typically found during the early phase of institutional transitions, weak-tie networks are more likely to be developed and leveraged during the late phase of transitions. The upshot is that as the performance benefits of strong ties decline during institutional transitions, emerging weak ties' impact on firm performance is likely to increase.




We thank Sven Horak for editorial guidance. This research was supported in part by the Jindal Chair at UT Dallas. Address all correspondence to: Mike W. Peng, Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road, SM 43, Richardson, TX 75080, .


Peng, M.W. and Peng, G.T. (2022), "Transitioning From Strong Ties to Weak Ties in Emerging Economies", Horak, S. (Ed.) Informal Networks in International Business, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 23-40.



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