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The argument that applications of social network research tools and theories to stakeholder research will advance our understanding of how organizations should and do interact with their stakeholders and how stakeholders influence organizations has been well known for over 15 years. However, the integration of social network analysis and stakeholder research has been limited to date. To motivate stakeholder network research, I illustrate the similarities and complementarities between these research streams, arguing that the social network perspective tackles weaknesses in stakeholder models supporting the creation of more fruitful models of organization–stakeholder environments. I illustrate how stakeholder power and legitimacy, and focal organization obligations can be better modeled theoretically and measured empirically using social network concepts and techniques.
In this study, we seek to broaden the research focus in the strategic alliance literature from a firm's “partner strategy” to its “network strategy” by linking a firm's…
In this study, we seek to broaden the research focus in the strategic alliance literature from a firm's “partner strategy” to its “network strategy” by linking a firm's partnering choices to changes in its network position over time. Using data on all underwriting syndicates in Canada over nearly 40 years, we conceptualize and model the interplay between an investment bank's own and its partners’ syndicate participation. Our findings indicate that the lead banks, which have greater discretion in choosing syndicate partners than co-lead banks, are more likely to make partner selections that create bridging positions that provide access to timely and non-redundant information as well as opportunities to play a broker role across unconnected others. We also find, however, that lead banks’ bridging positions deteriorate when they form ties with other lead banks. Network-based competitive advantages are thus influenced by network opportunities and constraints as well as partner-specific concerns, suggesting that new insights into the dynamics of interfirm networks and competitive advantage of firms are possible within this broader view.
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…
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.
We develop and test a model of how a software firm's business strategy (product scope and market scope) interacts with the firm's network position (alliance degree and…
We develop and test a model of how a software firm's business strategy (product scope and market scope) interacts with the firm's network position (alliance degree and structural holes) to impact performance. We test the joint-effects hypotheses on a sample 359 packaged software firms that have entered into 5,489 alliances involving 2,849 distinct firms during the time period, 1990–2002. While prior studies have demonstrated the importance of network positions as a determinant of firm strategy and performance, this chapter begins to examine the performance effects of how a firm's business strategy and network positions interact. We find support for three of the four hypotheses lending empirical support for our theoretical model. We develop implications for network-based perspectives of strategy and outline areas for further research.
What is the scope of brokerage network to be considered in thinking strategically? Given the value of bridging structural holes, is there value to being affiliated with…
What is the scope of brokerage network to be considered in thinking strategically? Given the value of bridging structural holes, is there value to being affiliated with people or organizations that bridge structural holes? The answer is “no” according to performance associations with manager networks, which raises a question about the consistency of network theory across micro to macro levels of analysis. The purpose here is to align manager evidence with corresponding macro evidence on the supplier and customer networks around four-digit manufacturing industries in the 1987 and 1992 benchmark input–output tables. In contrast to the manager evidence, about 24% of the industry-structure effect on industry performance can be attributed to structure beyond the industry's own buying and selling, to networks around the industry's suppliers and customers. However, the industry evidence is not qualitatively distinct from the manager evidence so much as it describes a more extreme business environment.