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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Pin Luarn and Yu-Ping Chiu

The purpose of this paper is to predict tie strength using profile similarities and interaction data between users, and thus distinguish between strong and weak…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to predict tie strength using profile similarities and interaction data between users, and thus distinguish between strong and weak relationships on social network sites (SNSs).

Design/methodology/approach

This study developed a program and an online questionnaire to collect the data set from Facebook, and then integrated that data set with a subjective data set consisting of participants’ opinions of the strength of their friendships on Facebook. The model developed here for predicting tie strength performed well when was applied on a data set of 6,477 SNSs’ ties, distinguishing between strong and weak ties with over 50 percent accuracy.

Findings

The results developed an algorithm (predictive model) that quantifies and measures tie strength continuously to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The results found that the variables in the dimension of emotional intensity had stronger effects than other interaction variables.

Originality/value

This study developed a predictive model that helps explain the meaning of interaction on SNSs, providing an efficient method to examine tie strength on SNSs. The tie strength estimates can also be used to improve the range and performance of various aspects of SNSs, including link predictions, product recommendations, newsfeeds, people searches, and visualization. Such understanding of the structure of SNSs might lead ultimately to the design of algorithms that can detect trusted or influential users of SNSs.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Peter A. Voyer and Chatura Ranaweera

Primarily, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction and direct effects of tie strength between sender and receiver of word of mouth (WOM) and the…

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3660

Abstract

Purpose

Primarily, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction and direct effects of tie strength between sender and receiver of word of mouth (WOM) and the receiver’s service purchase decision involvement on WOM influence. A secondary aim is to investigate how a distinctive conceptualization of perceived risk, consisting of two types (outcome risk and psychosocial risk), affects service purchase decision involvement. A conceptual model incorporating these constructs and associated hypotheses is developed and tested.

Design/methodology/approach

In a survey of actual service consumers, respondents were asked to recall a recent instance where they had received service purchase information via WOM, and relate their responses to this instance. Established scales were used to measure the constructs. The hypothesized model was tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Principally, findings demonstrate a strong interaction effect between service purchase decision involvement and tie strength. Also, results highlight the complexity of the perceived risk construct, suggesting that it is appropriately modeled as two types: outcome risk, and psychosocial risk.

Research limitations/implications

This research has contributed to the service marketing literature by testing a model that predicts WOM influence. Evidence confirmed that the effect of service purchase decision involvement on WOM influence is moderated by tie strength. Additionally, a conceptualization of two different types of risk associated with purchase decisions was suggested, together with empirical confirmation of their hypothesized antecedent effects on service purchase decision involvement. Findings have special implications for the literatures of persuasion, social and interpersonal influence, as well as consumer behavior in general.

Practical implications

To harness the power of WOM, managers should understand who their target audience is and how consumers are related to each other (tie strength) and to the service purchase decision (service purchase decision involvement). Recommendations are made with specific illustrations of how firms can leverage tie strength under conditions of low service purchase decision involvement to enhance WOM influence.

Originality/value

The formidable power of WOM wields substantial influence on consumers, particularly within a service (vs goods) purchase context, typically characterized by higher perceived risk and lower search qualities. The significant interaction between tie strength and service purchase decision involvement is a unique contribution to the service WOM literature.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Mariola Palazon, María Sicilia and Manuela Lopez

This paper aims to examine the role of Facebook friends on the intention to join brand pages in this social network site (SNS). SNSs have grown in both popularity and use…

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2431

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role of Facebook friends on the intention to join brand pages in this social network site (SNS). SNSs have grown in both popularity and use. They allow individuals to articulate their social networks by developing a list of other members on the site with whom they share a connection. These platforms also allow companies to create profiles to promote their brands. However, many firms have jumped into SNSs by creating a “brand page” without fully understanding how to spread it successfully.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were developed. In the first one, the authors manipulated how the individual comes to know about brand pages. Participants discovered a brand page through a friend with whom they have either a strong tie or a weak tie. In the second experiment (2 × 2), the authors manipulated tie strength (strong vs weak) and the type of recommendation (active vs passive).

Findings

Results of the first study show that as the individual has more experience in Facebook (measured in this paper through satisfaction, past behavior of following brands and Facebook intensity), the effect of tie strength on the intention to join a brand page dilutes. The second study confirms Study 1 and shows that strong ties exert more influence than weak ties when the brand page is actively recommended by Facebook friends.

Practical implications

This paper shows that the influence of strong ties is particularly important for individuals with low levels of experience in Facebook. As experience in SNSs is expected to continue growing, managers should not forget the role of weak ties as a source of information for their networked friends. Strong ties only remain more influential than weak ties when the information about the brand page is received through an invitation.

Originality/value

This paper explores the interpersonal influences in Facebook, asserting that the influence of tie strength depends on the level of experience in the SNS, and on the way, information about the brand page is received.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2020

Guangdong Wu, Huiwen Li, Chunlin Wu and Zhibin Hu

This study aims to investigate the relationships between the different strengths of ties (strong ties and weak ties), types of trust and project performance in megaprojects.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationships between the different strengths of ties (strong ties and weak ties), types of trust and project performance in megaprojects.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted with various experts and professionals involved in megaprojects, and 350 valid responses were received. Data was analyzed by means of structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that both strong ties and weak ties have positive impacts on trust in megaprojects, but weak ties have a more significant positive effect than do strong ties. Unexpectedly, the introduction of interorganizational trust significantly weakens the effect of the strength of ties on project performance. The indirect influence of the strength of ties on performance has different paths. Weak ties have an indirect effect via calculative trust and relational trust. However, in a strong ties network, inferior stakeholders lack the information necessary to complete a megaproject, and they believe that calculative trust will not promote project performance until the megaproject is successfully delivered. Thus, the effect of calculative trust on project performance is not significant.

Research limitations/implications

These findings provide evidence in regard to strength of ties governance being a part of the effective strategy in improving megaprojects’ performance. It also demonstrates the mediating function of trust and advances the current understandings of the underlying mechanism of the strength of ties on project performance, thus providing implications for researchers and practitioners. However, this study has some limitations. For example, the strength of ties and trust between organizations are a dynamic process in megaprojects. This study does not conduct in-depth analysis of the evolution mechanism and investigate the different levels of trust at different stages of the megaproject. Future research can be guided by these directions.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is fourfold. First, this study enriches the literature on strength of ties by accentuating the roles of trust in megaproject context. Second, this study contributes to the theoretical development of a conceptual model for explaining the interrelationships among strength of ties, types of trust and project performance. Third, this study responds to the call “which dimension (i.e. strong ties or weak ties) is more influential” by exploring the direct and indirect effects of strength of ties on project performance. Finally, this study breaks through the limitation of traditional cognition that megaproject management can be met by relying on rigid contracts. In other words, trust can supplement the weakness of rigid contract by forming contract flexibility with different strength of ties. Meanwhile, the specific strategies to establish and maintain trust are given, such as building information model (BIM) collaboration platform and reputation management mechanism.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2020

Guangdong Wu, Junwei Zheng, Xianbo Zhao and Jian Zuo

This study aims to investigate how the strength of ties (i.e. strong ties and weak ties) in megaproject networks influences project performance in terms of types of conflicts.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how the strength of ties (i.e. strong ties and weak ties) in megaproject networks influences project performance in terms of types of conflicts.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was undertaken with professionals in Chinese megaprojects and 445 valid responses were received. A conflict-based theoretical model was developed and tested with structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results indicated that task conflict had a constructive effect on project performance, whereas relationship conflict and process conflict had destructive effects. Both strong and weak ties positively affected project performance, and that weak ties exerted greater effects on performance. The introduction of conflicts significantly weakened the effect of strong ties on project performance. Strong ties indirectly affected project performance via task conflict and relationship conflict, whereas weak ties affected performance only through task conflict. Task conflict had a constructive effect on project performance, whereas relationship conflict and process conflict had destructive impact.

Research limitations/implications

This study identified the positive effect of strength of ties on project performance as well as the constructive and destructive roles of conflicts. Furthermore, the findings provided evidence that strength of ties and conflicts were critical factors for project performance. While, there are still limitations. There are other attributes of megaproject networks, such as network nodes’ characteristics and network structure, which may influence conflicts and project performance. Future research would be conducted to explore the role of these variables. Meanwhile, because different types of conflicts may mutually transform under certain conditions, future research would also address this issue in megaprojects.

Practical implications

As for the management strategies, project stakeholders should know the existence of project networks, exactly assess their resource endowment, especially their external and internal relationship network. In accordance with changes of the project network, stakeholders should share knowledge and learn techniques about how to respond to relationship disturbances, thus reducing relationship conflict and process conflict. Furthermore, stakeholders should place an emphasis on fostering and reinforcing communication and trust, thus effectively resolving task conflict, ambiguity and uncertainty engendered from network ties in a megaproject network.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is threefold. First, this study will enrich the literature on strength of ties by accentuating the roles of conflicts in megaproject context. Second, this study contributes to the theoretical development of a conceptual model for explaining the interrelationships among strength of ties, conflicts and project performance. Third, this study will respond to the call “which dimension, i.e. strong ties or weak ties, is more influential” by exploring the direct and indirect effects of strength of ties on project performance.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2014

Terry Hui-Ye Chiu, Chien-Chou Chen, Yuh-Jzer Joung and Shymin Chen

Most studies on tie strength have focused on its definition, calculation and applications, but have not paid much attention to how tie strength can help analyse online…

Abstract

Purpose

Most studies on tie strength have focused on its definition, calculation and applications, but have not paid much attention to how tie strength can help analyse online social networks. Because ties play different roles in a network depending on their strength, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between tie strength and network behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose a simple metric for tie strength measurement and then apply it to an online social network extracted from a blog network. These networks are massive in size and have technology for efficient data collection, thereby presenting the possibility of measuring tie strength objectively. From the results several key social network properties are studied to see how tie strength may be used as a metric to explain certain characteristics in social networks.

Findings

The online networks exhibit all the structural properties of an actual social network, not only in following the power law but also with regard to the distribution of tie strength. The authors noted a strong association between tie strength and reciprocity, and tie strength and transitivity in online social networks.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of analysing online social networks from a tie strength perspective. The results have important implications for the development of efficient search mechanisms and appropriate group leaders in virtual communities.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

E. Teimoury, M. Fesharaki and A. Bazyar

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of governance modes (trust and unilateral control) on new product development (NPD) performance and the mediating role…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of governance modes (trust and unilateral control) on new product development (NPD) performance and the mediating role of tie strength.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey research was conducted to collect data from 112 NPD relationships and structural equation modeling was conducted to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results suggest that the trust and tie strength are positively related, while unilateral control and tie strength are negatively related. On the other hand, tie strength is positively related to NPD performance. Results also show that the impact of trust and unilateral control on NPD performance are mediated by the tie strength.

Originality/value

This study enhances the understanding of NPD relationships by examining the key modes of governance through which tie strength and NPD performance are influenced.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 60 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Xueyuan Liu, Muzhen Shen, Wenjing Ding and Xiande Zhao

In innovation networks, firm innovation performance is affected by external tie strength and internal knowledge absorptive capacity. This study aims to empirically examine…

Abstract

Purpose

In innovation networks, firm innovation performance is affected by external tie strength and internal knowledge absorptive capacity. This study aims to empirically examine the path relationship between tie strength, absorptive capacity and firm innovation performance in Chinese manufacturing industries, thus enhance our understanding on the mechanism between innovation network and innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have conducted a survey among Chinese manufacturers in four industries (textile and garment, household appliance, IT and electronics and motor vehicle assemblers) that are located in North, East, Central and South China, respectively, with a valid response from 278 manufacturers. Structural equation model is used to analyze the results.

Findings

This study demonstrates that in Chinese Manufacturing industry, tie strength is positively related to innovation performance. The authors also find that absorptive capacity has a positive impact on innovation performance and it mediates the relationship between tie strength and innovation performance. Then, the authors analyze the effect of ownership, industry and sub-region, and the results show that in private firms and traditional manufacturers, and the firms located in North and Eastern China, tie strength has no direct effect on innovation outcomes, but it can influence innovation indirectly through absorptive capacity.

Originality/value

This study further supports that in Chinese guanxi culture, strong ties with other innovation partners can improve the firm’s absorptive capacity and thus improve innovation performance. The results also suggest that a firm’s absorptive capacity has a significant mediating effect on the relationship between tie strength and innovation performance.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Anette Söderqvist and Sylvie Kamala Chetty

The paper aims to examine the strength of ties that entrepreneurs use during three critical phases of the international new venture's (INV) development; pre-founding…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the strength of ties that entrepreneurs use during three critical phases of the international new venture's (INV) development; pre-founding, start-up and early internationalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses in-depth interviews to track the development of five INVs to provide nuanced and detailed findings relating to tie strength during these three critical phases. By focusing on proces, the paper captures in detail the strength of these ties and the dynamics of how they evolve.

Findings

While the existing literature considers strength of ties to be two separate entities, the paper develops a continuum with three different levels of strength by using entrepreneurs' actual relationships. The paper found that stronger relationships predominate and that they play an important broker role to link with other unconnected networks.

Practical implications

Since relationships are crucial for recognizing and developing business opportunities, entrepreneurs need to invest time and resources to create and develop relationships. The study indicates that entrepreneurs have stronger relationships during the early phases of firm development mainly because they focus on essential relationships and cull unnecessary ones that form a distraction.

Originality/value

The paper refines theory by identifying a distinct category the “equally strong as weak relationship” that is not yet mentioned in the extant literature but could be useful for international entrepreneurs to position themselves inside a network in foreign markets. In such relationships entrepreneurs experience the co-existence of importance and uncertainty.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Qi Wang, Yan Sun, Ji Zhu and Xiaohang Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to research the effect of uncertain rewards on the recommendation intention in referral reward programs (RRPs) and investigate the interaction…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to research the effect of uncertain rewards on the recommendation intention in referral reward programs (RRPs) and investigate the interaction of tie strength and reward type on the recommendation intention.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a quantitative exploratory approach through the use of experiments. Study 1 adopted a 2×2 between-participants design ((reward type: certain reward vs uncertain reward)×(tie strength: strong tie vs weak tie)). Respectively, by manipulating uncertain probabilities and expected value, Studies 2 and 3 further explore the effect of uncertain rewards and tie strength on customers’ referral intention.

Findings

This paper finds the following: compared to certain rewards, customers’ referral intention under uncertain rewards is higher and positive experience has a mediating effect between reward type and recommendation intention; when only the recommender is rewarded, the tie strength between the recommender and the receiver moderates the effect of reward type on the recommendation intention; for strong ties, customers’ recommendation intention is higher in uncertain reward condition, but for weak ties, customers’ willingness to recommend is almost the same in both reward types; when both the recommender and the receiver are rewarded, although certain rewards have a higher expected value than uncertain and random rewards, for strong ties, the participants have a higher referral intention under random rewards than that under uncertain rewards, which have a higher referral willingness than that under certain rewards. Additionally, for weak ties, the reverse is true.

Originality/value

The research has both theoretical implications for research on uncertain rewards and tie strength and practical implications for marketing managers designing and implementing RRPs.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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