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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Chad Whelan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the underlying relational properties of security networks by focusing specifically on the relationship between formal and informal

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the underlying relational properties of security networks by focusing specifically on the relationship between formal and informal ties, and interpersonal and inter-organisational trust.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on 20 qualitative interviews with senior members of police and security agencies across the field of counter-terrorism in Australia.

Findings

The findings suggest that the underlying relational properties of security networks are highly complex, making it difficult to distinguish between formal and informal ties, interpersonal and inter-organisational trust. The findings also address the importance of informal ties and interpersonal trust for the functioning of organisational security networks.

Research limitations/implications

The research is exploratory in nature and extends to a number of organisational security networks in the field of counter-terrorism in Australia. While it is anticipated that the findings will be relevant in a variety of contexts, further research is required to advance our knowledge of the implications and properties of informal social networks within defined network boundaries.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that the functioning of security networks is likely to be highly dependent on the underlying social relationships between network members. This has practical implications for those responsible for designing and managing security networks.

Originality/value

The paper calls attention to a very understudied topic by focusing on the dynamics of informal ties and interpersonal trust within organisational security networks.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Pamela Yeow, Alison Dean, Danielle Tucker and Linda Pomeroy

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of “multiplex” (multiple overlapping) networks and leadership on group performance in a higher education setting.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of “multiplex” (multiple overlapping) networks and leadership on group performance in a higher education setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a combination of social network analysis and interviews, the authors employ a case study approach to map the connections between academic group members. This paper analyses the relationship between this mapping and academic performance.

Findings

The authors identified two dimensions which influence group effectiveness: multiplex networks and distributed–coordinated leadership. Where networks are built across tasks, inter-relationships develop that lead to greater group performance.

Practical implications

Where group members create a dense hive of interconnectivity and are active across all group tasks, and also informally, this increases the opportunity for knowledge sharing. When this is similarly experienced by a majority of group members, there is positive reinforcement, resulting in greater group effectiveness.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of the richness of formal ties in knowledge-intensive settings. This paper is the first to differentiate between formal connections between colleagues related to different tasks within their role. This suggests that dense configurations of informal ties are insufficient; they must be coupled with strong ties around formal activity and demonstrative leadership.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Margarida Fontes and Cristina Sousa

The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by science-based start-ups to gain access to knowledge resources at diverse spatial levels. It investigates…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the strategies adopted by science-based start-ups to gain access to knowledge resources at diverse spatial levels. It investigates the presence and relative importance of ties endowed with different types of proximity in firms’ knowledge networks, and the role played by non-geographical proximity in gaining access to knowledge sources, both nearby and distant.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytical framework is proposed that distinguishes between two dimensions of proximity – geographical and relational – leading to different forms of proximity, which are further linked with modes of knowledge interaction (formal or informal). A methodology for network reconstruction is developed and applied to Portuguese molecular biology firms, permitting to identify the origin, location and nature of the ties and to position them along forms of proximity.

Findings

The results show that the incidence and mix of the different forms of proximity vary in firms’ individual networks, being possible to identify several patterns. They also uncover the relevance of relational proximity, whether or not coexisting with geographical proximity and often compensating for its absence.

Research limitations/implications

This approach needs to be complemented with further research that refines the operationalization of relational proximity, by attempting to disentangle the influence of different types of non-geographical proximity. Further research will also explore in greater detail the factors that may explain variety in the proximity mix of firms’ networks.

Practical implications

The paper offers insights into the knowledge sourcing strategies adopted by science-based firms located outside the main concentrations of knowledge in their field.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on the role of proximity in knowledge access, by developing and empirically testing a taxonomy of forms of proximity, considering the characteristics of science-based firms. It uncovers the mechanisms through which relational proximity can contribute to span spatial boundaries, highlighting the role played by entrepreneurs’ personal networks.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Martina Battisti, Joanna Scott-Kennel and David Deakins

Integrating network attributes from studies of social networks, business relationships and small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) internationalization, this study adopts…

Abstract

Purpose

Integrating network attributes from studies of social networks, business relationships and small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) internationalization, this study adopts a perceptual view of a firm’s focal “net” of relationships to examine foreign market entry mode choice. This study aims to examine how the interaction between knowledge-intensive service (KIS) firm’s network ties, embeddedness and position is related to choice of mode and subsequently the firm’s perceived insidership status within its focal net.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on qualitative interviews with 25 small- to medium-sized KIS firms engaged in direct exporting or foreign direct investment (FDI). This study derives an empirically grounded framework of four distinct network patterns of these KIS firms through an iterative process of triangulation between cases and theory.

Findings

The four network patterns illustrate the complex interaction between network attributes and entry mode choice by KIS firms. The findings suggest formal ties and centrality in closed network relationships provide the “central controller” firm discretion over their entry mode choice. Resource-intensive FDI by “opportunistic investors” proved essential to securing centrality through formal, institutional ties. Less optimal patterns lacking institutional ties and centrality, however, precluded choice of FDI by “specialized exporters” and “client followers.” The study finds that entry modes are less likely to be influenced by the firm’s embeddedness in open or closed network relationships, but rather by the desire to achieve a more central network position and legitimacy through more formal, less imitable ties.

Research limitations/implications

The findings demonstrate the importance of network structure, a position of centrality, and strength of professional and institutional ties to small KIS firm internationalization. By adopting a more finely grained examination of the interaction between key attributes of the firm’s focal net, this study provides a valuable first step in conceptualizing the complexities associated with networking and adoption of export/investment internationalization modes.

Practical implications

There are a number of implications for the strategic and operational facets of smaller KIS firm internationalization. To avoid excessive network liability for resource-deficient SMEs, practitioners should consider network positioning as a strategic activity, with the costs associated with building and maintaining networks offset against economic- and resource-related returns.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to a better understanding of entry mode choices of KIS by taking a network perspective that accounts for the combined effects of different network attributes. The four network patterns identified extend current theoretical knowledge on the role of networks for entry mode choices of small KIS by highlighting that entry mode choices reflect the particular firm’s focal net and its attempt to achieve insidership status through high centrality and formal ties.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 26 October 2012

Geoffrey P. Morgan and Kathleen M. Carley

We present a simulation designed to capture the impact of both formal authority ties and informal socialization ties on the performance of an organization adapting to a…

Abstract

We present a simulation designed to capture the impact of both formal authority ties and informal socialization ties on the performance of an organization adapting to a turbulent world. We present a summary of three key models that informed our approach and then outline and describe the operation of our resulting simulation. Using an experiment that manipulated both the authority network structure and the stress the organization placed on socialization, we show inefficient authority structures harm performance, and also that socialization has a strong and nonlinear impact on peak organizational performance and on the performance of top management. We also present a case study, instantiating the general model with the specific context of a real-world organization. Finally, our integrated multimodel suggests that companies should pursue different strategies in hiring key strategic actors than they do for other actors.

Details

The Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice: Looking Forward at Forty
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-713-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Ramin Vandaie

Scientific collaborations represent informal external ties that together with formal R&D alliances constitute a multichannel knowledge sourcing network in science-based…

Abstract

Purpose

Scientific collaborations represent informal external ties that together with formal R&D alliances constitute a multichannel knowledge sourcing network in science-based industries. Although such multichannel knowledge sourcing benefits firms by providing more thorough access to external sources, it also entails potentially significant redundancies worthy of consideration. This paper aims to take a step by first verifying their existence, followed by an examination of key contingencies determining the extent of these redundancies, i.e. firm absorptive capacity, balanced utilization of ties and firm size.

Design methodology approach

This is an empirical study that uses scientific collaborations and R&D alliances of US pharmaceutical companies to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

This paper verifies the existence of multichannel knowledge sourcing redundancies, followed by an examination of key contingencies determining the extent of these redundancies, i.e. firm absorptive capacity, balanced utilization of ties and firm size.

Originality value

To the knowledge, this is a first attempt at clarifying redundancies in innovative knowledge sourcing and their implications for firm innovation performance.

Propósito

Las colaboraciones científicas representan vínculos externos informales que, junto con las alianzas formales de I + D, constituyen una red de abastecimiento de conocimiento multicanal en industrias basadas en la ciencia. Aunque esta fuente de conocimiento multicanal beneficia a las empresas al proporcionar un acceso más completo a fuentes externas, también implica impotantes potencailes redundancias que merecen consideración. Dichas redundancias tienen su origen en conocimientos específicos que se superponen y en los requisitos de recursos clave similares, incluido el presupuesto y prsonal de investigación. A pesar de su importancia, la literatura no ha ofrecido una descripción completa de las posibles causas y contingencias de estas redundancias. El presente estudio da un paso en esta dirección al verificar primero su existencia, seguido de un estudio de las contingencias clave que determinan el alcance de estas redundancias.

Diseño/Metodología/Enfoque

este es un artículo empírico que utiliza el contexto de la industria farmacéutica para probar la interacción entre las colaboraciones científicas y las alianzas de I + D como impulsores del desempeño de innovación de una empresa farmacéutica que se manifiesta en la productividad de sus patentes.

Hallazgos

El análisis empírico revela que el efecto de las colaboraciones científicas y las alianzas de I + D es de hecho parcialmente sustitutivo o redundante, y que dicha redundancia es mayor para las empresas con baja capacidad de absorción, utilización desequilibrada de los dos tipos de vínculos externos y su tamaño.

Originalidad

Este es uno de los primeros intentos empíricos de explorar los efectos sustitutivos de las colaboraciones científicas y las alianzas de I + D a nivel de empresa. La incorporación de contingencias clave como la capacidad de absorción, la utilización equilibrada de las relaciones y el tamaño de la empresa mejoran aún más la novedad y originalidad de nuestra investigación.

Objetivo

Colaborações científicas representam links externos informais que, juntamente com alianças formais de P&D, constituem uma rede de fornecimento de conhecimento multicanal em indústrias baseadas na ciência. Embora essa fonte multicanal de conhecimento beneficie as empresas ao fornecer um acesso mais completo a fontes externas, ela também envolve redundâncias potenciais significativas que merecem consideração. Essas redundâncias resultam da sobreposição de conhecimentos específicos e requisitos de recursos chave semelhantes, incluindo orçamento e pessoal de pesquisa. Apesar de sua importância, a literatura não fornece uma descrição completa das possíveis causas e contingências dessas redundâncias. O presente estudo dá um passo nessa direção, primeiro verificando sua existência, seguido por um estudo das contingências-chave que determinam a extensão dessas redundâncias.

Design/Metodologia/Abordagem

Este é um artigo empírico que usa o contexto da indústria farmacêutica para testar a interação entre colaborações científicas e alianças de P&D como impulsionadores do desempenho inovador de uma empresa farmacêutica manifestada na produtividade de suas patentes.

Resultados

A análise empírica revela que o efeito das colaborações científicas e alianças de P&D é de fato parcialmente substituto ou redundante, e que a referida redundância é maior para empresas com baixa capacidade de absorção, utilização desequilibrada dos dois tipos de links externos e seu tamanho.

Originalidade

esta é uma das primeiras tentativas empíricas de explorar os efeitos substitutos de colaborações científicas e parcerias de P&D no nível da empresa. Incorporar contingências importantes, como capacidade de absorção, utilização equilibrada de relacionamentos e tamanho da empresa, aumenta ainda mais a novidade e originalidade de nossa pesquisa.

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Menita Liu Cheng, Jianfeng Wu and Jianjun Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to examine corporate political activities (CPA) by migrant entrepreneurs to improve business performance in a host developing country.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine corporate political activities (CPA) by migrant entrepreneurs to improve business performance in a host developing country.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a cross‐sectional analysis of 97 Chinese migrant entrepreneurs with business operations in a host developing economy.

Findings

A significant positive relationship was found between formal CPAs and performance.

Research limitations/implications

To further deepen the examination of CPAs, new quantification methodologies have to be applied to properly measure CPA relational strength, investment intensity and diversity.

Practical implications

The results enable migrant entrepreneurs to make a more educated decision on the type of CPAs to pursue and to what intensity.

Social implications

The results could motivate migrant entrepreneurs to adapt rapidly to the host country's formal customs to facilitate socio‐economic adaptation.

Originality/value

This study contributes to literature by examining both formal and informal CPAs, their inter‐relationship and their effects on migrant businesses, which have not been examined previously.

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2020

Collins Osei, Maktoba Omar and Tasneem Suliman Joosub

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role colonial ties play in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ghana, several years after the official end of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role colonial ties play in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ghana, several years after the official end of colonisation in the African continent. Colonisation left behind legacies of institutional framework, social ties and remnants of companies of colonial masters, which could potentially offer contemporary businesses from home countries the benefits of country of origin agglomeration.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses sequential explanatory mixed research design through 101 questionnaires and 8 interviews from the UK companies with FDI in Ghana. This approached enabled the initial quantitative results to be explored further through the qualitative data.

Findings

Colonial ties have limited influence on contemporary flow of FDI to Ghana, in spite of the institutional legacies between former colonisers and colonies. Majority of UK companies are influenced by agglomeration opportunities in general rather than country of origin agglomeration. However, country of origin agglomeration remains important to over a third of the companies surveyed.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was taken from the non-extractive industry in Ghana, and caution must be applied in generalising the findings. However, some universal issues concerning agglomeration and institutions are discussed.

Originality/value

Although there has been some research on colonial history and its impact on FDI in Africa, existing knowledge on bilateral relations is rather limited. Unlike previous studies, this research provides depth by examining colonial influence on FDI between two countries, using two key concepts: country of origin agglomeration and institutions. It provides UK companies with contemporary views to consider when exploring FDI opportunities in Ghana, particularly in relation to the effects of the colonial history. It also provides investment promotion agencies with empirical results on the importance of various forms of agglomeration and institutions for FDI attraction.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2018

Aleksandra Wasowska and Igor Postula

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the formal and informal governance mechanisms of state-owned enterprises operating in a post-transitional economy of Poland.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the formal and informal governance mechanisms of state-owned enterprises operating in a post-transitional economy of Poland.

Design/methodology/approach

The study combines legal analysis of Polish regulations in force, review of literature on the Poland’s institutional legacy, and a statistical analysis, based on a data set of 204 management board members, 180 external supervisory board members, and 114 state officials supervising Polish SOEs in 2011.

Findings

Legally designed relationships among the management board, supervisory board, and the state treasury, represented by the minister and ministry officials, constitute the key formal governance mechanisms in Polish SOEs. They are, however, complemented by relationships between SOEs and their stakeholders and distorted by other informal phenomena, including informal noninstitutional behavior, mechanisms grounded in cognitive and normative institutions, and perception of the relationship structure by the actors themselves. As a result, key corporate governance actors differ in their perception of governance influences upon SOEs.

Practical implications

This study contributes to policymaking by helping authorities gain a better understanding of the governance challenges in SOEs.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first and few empirical studies investigating the issue of formal and informal governance mechanisms in SOEs in post-transitional economies of CEE.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Higher education institutions in the UK will become better placed to meet increasing challenges and pressures when appropriate network and leadership structures are in…

Abstract

Purpose

Higher education institutions in the UK will become better placed to meet increasing challenges and pressures when appropriate network and leadership structures are in place. Networks based on both formal and informal ties used in combination with distributed leadership can help strengthen connectivity between academics and positively impact on different performance indicators.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Higher education institutions in the UK will become better placed to meet increasing challenges and pressures when appropriate network and leadership structures are in place. Networks based on both formal and informal ties used in combination with distributed leadership can help strengthen connectivity between academics and positively impact on different performance indicators.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

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