Every paper needs a theme. Luckily, the venue defines the theme for me; how did the initial conditions at Stanford affect the development and diffusion of population ecology as a theoretical research program. I use the term theoretical research program reluctantly, especially considering the context of the department of sociology at Stanford University during the 1970s and 1980s (Lakatos & Musgrave, 1970). Nonetheless, I believe that population ecology can be usefully described as such. It is not a theory but rather a collection of theories developing over time with progressive problem shifts. There are methodological rules that define what paths of research to pursue and to avoid (Pfeffer, 1993, p. 613).
Despite a growing body of research on exploration and exploitation, scholars have tended to study the phenomena from a narrow perspective mostly within larger…
Despite a growing body of research on exploration and exploitation, scholars have tended to study the phenomena from a narrow perspective mostly within larger, well-established organizations. However, it is still far from obvious how top management within small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are to address the liability of newness and seek access to resources and capabilities relevant for the pursuit of exploration and exploitation. Resource sourcing and allocation decisions are particularly critical in SMEs and must be aligned with the firm’s fundamental strategic intent and growth model. For example, organizations following a stage model by first developing a domestic market and then expanding globally will require different bundles of resources and capabilities than organizations that are designed to conquer the global arena. Indeed, management systems will likely need to adapt across the firm life cycle such that it can fulfill an explorative function in the earlier stages and an exploitative function in later ones. Hence, early-stage ventures have to master the resource reallocation process which is contingent on their access to capital. Across the firm life cycle, venture capitalists can tap into the growth potential of early-stage ventures is a key factor behind their successful short-term innovative performance as well as long-term survival.
Inter-organizational alliances and the networks they generate have been a central topic in organization theory over the last decade. However, network analyses per se have…
Inter-organizational alliances and the networks they generate have been a central topic in organization theory over the last decade. However, network analyses per se have been static. Even when information over time has been available, the temporal component has been set aside or aggregated to the end point of the study. Substantially more research has been conducted on organizations initiating inter-organizational relationships. The organization-level research has been decidedly dynamic in nature. However, organization-level research has largely examined the structural characteristics of the networks generated by organizational actions. Work combining network-level and organization-level phenomena has been rare and, to our knowledge, no research including the effects of organization-level actions on the evolution of network-level phenomena has occurred.
In this chapter we use more than 6000 R&D alliances and more than 6500 M&D alliances initiated by more than 1000 biotech firms in the U.S. over a 30 year period to construct quarterly networks. We test 13 hypotheses linking the actions of the firms to changes in network structure. Utilizing hazard-rate models we test the effects of institutional status, positional status (centrality), and structural status (coreness) of firms on their propensity to form ties with different structural consequences. Our research indicates that both R&D and M&D networks in U.S. biotechnology are developing a distinct core/periphery structure over time. Furthermore, we find support for a process of preferential attachment wherein organizations are more likely to form ties with organizations of similar institutional and structural status. Furthermore, we find evidence for cross effects, for example attachment processes that enfold across the two networks.
An emerging stream of literature has observed that project-based organizations rely increasingly on a network of collaborations originating from the ongoing process of…
An emerging stream of literature has observed that project-based organizations rely increasingly on a network of collaborations originating from the ongoing process of creating and dissolving relationships that bring new project opportunities. Project-based networks are widespread in knowledge-intensive and creative industries, such as life-science and biotechnology, nanotechnology, and software, film, and music industry. This chapter examines the structural characteristics of project-based network-ties in German biotech. We focus on the consequences of local versus international network ties for the innovative success of German biotechnology firms. The findings of our longitudinal event history analysis indicate that the most valuable learning drivers are international research alliances and centrality within the international research network. Surprisingly, we do not find any local effects: neither the density of a local research cluster, nor its diversity or age is of significance. Our results shed new light on the relevance of international linkages for firms that are engaged in project-based learning networks.