Session Details: Session 1059

Networks and Social Capital

Track E

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Time: 11:15 – 12:30

Common Ground

Room: Salon 25

Rodolphe Durand, HEC-Paris

Title: A Social Perspective on Interorganizational Competitive Rivalry


  • Curtis Moore, West Virginia University
  • Chad Autry, University of Tennessee
  • Stanley Griffis, Air Force Institute of Technology
  • G Tyge Payne, Texas Tech University

Abstract: We integrate social network and institutional theories to examine the social effects of competitive rivalry on firm economic outcomes via social network position. In contrast to predominate economic explanations of competitive rivalry, we proffer a social explanation based on institutional and network theories. We base our arguments on the notion that as more firms adopt characteristics of firms with reputations for success, normative pressures are created that cause organizations to mimic practices and polices consistent with prevailing institutional logics. As the process by which firms mimic successful firms in their competitive market continues, organizations become more central and experience increased rivalry. Using a large cross-sectional times series dataset of construction organizations, we test causal linkages between competitive rivalry, network position, and economic outcomes.

Title: Birds of a Flock Gather Together? Mechanism Behind The Status-Based Homophily


  • Jingoo Kang, Nanyang Technological University

Abstract: While most of the alliance literature assumes that alliances are more likely among firms of similar status, the focus on this aggregate tendency among actors minimizes the emphasis that has been placed on how new firms might actually enter networks. Our work joins the burgeoning set of papers addressing mechanisms that enable network entry by firms that lack social capital. Our approach is to acknowledge previous research on status similarity driving alliance formation by seeking moderating variables that diminish the magnitude of this effect. Specifically, we explore moderators at various levels: firm level variables such as the age of the low-status firm and the quality of the low-status firms’ technological capability in comparison to its status; dyad-level interdependence of potential partners; and network-level density.

Title: Knowing Your Clients: The Joint Effect of Client and Internal Social Capital on Organizational Ambidexterity


  • Michiel Tempelaar, Erasmus University - Rotterdam
  • Justin Jansen, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Frans A.J. Van Den Bosch, Erasmus University-Rotterdam

Abstract: While research has highlighted the importance of social capital as antecedents of the simultaneous pursuit of exploration and exploitation, more remains to be understood about the specific nature of this relationship. External social capital can yield knowledge beneficial for both exploration and exploitation, whereas internal social capital can diffuse this knowledge within the organization, thus creating integrative value and increased organizational ambidexterity. We examine the joined effects of external (client relationships) and internal (trust and connectedness) social capital on organizational ambidexterity. We find strong evidence for both structural and relational client social capital as antecedents of organizational ambidexterity. These relationships are moderated by connectedness as a measure of internal structural social capital, but not by trust, a measure of internal relational social capital.

Title: Navigating the Web of Interfirm Conflict and Cooperation: Exploring the Duality of Social Structure


  • Maxim Sytch, Northwestern University

Abstract: This study seeks to examine the impact of the firm’s position in the network of positive and negative relationships on its propensity to enter cooperative interfirm partnerships and innovation rate. To test the proposed relationships, this investigation uses data on strategic partnership and patent infringement lawsuit networks for a panel of biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. It further relies on qualitative evidence obtained in interviews with managers, attorneys, and industry experts.

Title: Network Evolution Towards Dysfunction: A Complexity Theory Perspective


  • Christoph Lechner, University of St. Gallen
  • Frank T. Rothaermel, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Shanti Agung, Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: Firms increasingly participate in strategic networks. These multi-partner organizational arrangements, however, tend to be quite fragile and difficult to manage. While previous research has highlighted the benefits of such networks, we concentrate on the other side of the coin as we focus on factors leading to a dysfunctional network. In particular, we report the results from a longitudinal case study covering the development and dissolution of Unisource, a global network in the telecommunications industry. We applied complexity theory, specifically the dissipative structure model to illuminate the network’s evolutionary paths and thus to answer questions such as: Where do networks come from, and how do they evolve? In particular, we attempt to understand why do some networks evolve toward dysfunctional ones? We find that the interactions among participants can maintain the state of asynchronous coupling, making the network dysfunctional.

Title: The Niche Advantage of the Networked Organization


  • Ikenna Uzuegbunam, Ohio University
  • Satish Nambisan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Abstract: This study offers a network-centric account of incumbent firm niche strategies towards technological innovation. The primary concern is to identify and elucidate how niche strategies employed by established firms in the context of their networks can enhance the focal firm’s competitive advantage. At the core of the thesis of this study is the suggestion that inter-organizational network, niche-level strategies are meaningful in the battles for enduring competitive advantage. The practical implication of our hypothesis is that incumbent firm choices towards niche creation in networks can yield substantial performance benefits through explicit niche strategies. From a theoretical standpoint, this study extends understanding of niche and network theories in organizational settings.

All Sessions in Track E...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1501: Exploration Strategies: Current Research and Future Content and Methodological Challenges
Sun: 13:00 – 14:30
Session 1601: Organizational Capabilities and Competitive Advantage: Where Do We Go From Here?
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1701: Using Research Centers to Foster ABC Collaboration
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1067: The Upside of Financial Investments
Session 1072: Lessons from Industry Cases
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1073: Learning and Competitive Dynamics
Session 1074: Configurations and Performance
Session 1076: The Knowledge-Based View in New Arenas
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1060: Value Creation and Appropriation: Perspectives From the Resource-Based View, Property Rights and Incomplete Contracting
Session 1062: Mastering Alliance Capability
Session 1069: Leveraging and Repositioning Resources
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1059: Networks and Social Capital
Session 1070: Performance and the Competitive Arena
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1063: Topics on Competitive Dynamics
Session 1066: Managing and Environmental Stewardship
Session 1075: Strategic Decision Making
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1065: Managing Stakeholder Networks and External Communication
Session 1071: Technology, Innovation and Competitive Advantage
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1064: Exploring Dynamic Capabilities
Session 1068: Signals and Firm Reputation

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference