Session 403

Understanding Network Structure and Characteristics

Track B

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Time: 11:00 – 12:15


Room: Malta

Session Chair:

  • Floortje van den Born, VU University Amsterdam

Title: Coinventing Networks and Star Inventors: The Impact of Knowledge Integration on Firm Innovation Performance


  • Jifeng Yu, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Kun Liu, Wayne State University

Abstract: Research examining intraorganizational networks has largely focused on the impact of such networks on individual performance and overlooked their roles in organizational processes. Drawing on the knowledge-based view of the firm and research on network effectiveness, this paper presents a knowledge integration framework to better understand how the intraorganizational coinventing network – a direct work context through which inventors interact for creativity – affects firm innovation performance. The results of a sample of U.S. pharmaceutical firms reveal that firm innovation is strongly associated with three properties of the coinventing network (coinventing team size, innovation dispersion, and network cohesion). Our results also show that the effect of star inventors is context-dependent. The size of the coinventing team and network cohesion moderate the influence of stars on technology breakthroughs.

Title: Multiple Project Memberships and Informal Advice Seeking in Knowledge-Intensive Firms: A Multilevel Network Perspective


  • Julia Brennecke, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Olaf Rank, Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg

Abstract: We investigate how employees’ memberships in multiple project teams interact with their advice ties in the context of corporate R&D. Drawing on research on the structuring principles of membership networks and interpersonal networks, we discuss mechanisms that are supposed to cause cross-level interdependencies between the two types of networks. To identify the structure-generating mechanisms predominating in knowledge-intensive organizations we apply exponential random graph models for multilevel networks to relational data collected on 434 employees and 218 project teams in a high-tech firm in Germany. Our results show that knowledge workers sharing project memberships create advice ties to each other but do not exchange advice reciprocally. In addition, we find negative interactions between the number of projects employees work on and seeking or providing advice.

Title: Networks, Attention, and Good Ideas: Taking Advantage and Overcoming the Liability of Social Structure


  • Luke Rhee, New York University
  • Paul Leonardi, Northwestern University

Abstract: This study examines how people’s attention allocation to their social network ties influences their ability to come up with good ideas. Using survey data on communication networks among 111 R&D employees in a software company, we find that if individuals who bridge structural holes in the communication networks do not balance their attention across all their network ties, they fail to take advantage of their network position and do not generate ideas as good as those produced by others in similar positions who balance their attention. Conversely, individuals in dense networks can succeed at generating good ideas, despite the liability of their network structure, if they selectively focus their attention on tacit knowledge that is transmitted from strong ties.

Title: Repeat Collaboration and Team Creative Performance: The Moderating Effect of Co-Membership Ties


  • Floortje van den Born, VU University Amsterdam
  • Kevyn Yong, ESSEC Business School

Abstract: Prior research has found both positive and negative effects of repeat collaboration on creative performance. Analyzing qualitative and quantitative data on professional jazz musicians and their ensembles, this work examines the influence of repeat collaboration on team creative performance. We suggest and find that the relationship between repeat collaboration and creative performance follows an inverted U-shaped function. We then test the moderating effect of co-membership ties team members maintain. Results show that balancing repeat collaboration with co-membership ties alleviates the negative consequences associated with high repeat collaboration. This study contributes to resolving the controversy surrounding creative performance and repeat collaboration.

All Sessions in Track B...

Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 210: Community Engagement and Orchestration
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 202: Alliance Portfolios, Networks, and Innovation
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 211: Knowledge Transfer and Learning
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 212: Dynamic Capabilities
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 403: Understanding Network Structure and Characteristics
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 404: Innovation and Global Networks

Strategic Management Society