Creating Knowledge and Overcoming Redundancy in Networks: Beyond the Strong/Weak Tie Dichotomy

Advanced Institute of Management Research Paper No. 053

46 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008

See all articles by Rick Delbridge

Rick Delbridge

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School

Francesca Mariotti

University of Stirling

Date Written: February 1, 2007

Abstract

This paper builds on Granovetter's distinction between strong and weak ties and responds to recent calls for a more dynamic, processual and thus comprehensive understanding of knowledge transfer in networks with regard to both the nature of the ties that link firms to novel sources of knowledge and the ability to mobilize around these new ideas. The concepts of potential and latent tie are introduced in order to consider how new ties develop and relationships decay. The findings of an empirical study conducted with companies operating in the British and Italian motorsport industries reveal that firms seek out potential new ties and reactivate latent ties in order to solve problems, address perceived knowledge deficiencies and create new knowledge. These conceptual and empirical insights move understanding of the managerial challenge of building effective networks beyond static structural contingency models of optimal network forms to highlight the processes and capabilities of dynamic relationship building and network development.

Keywords: knowledge creation and transfer, networks, inter-organizational ties, motorsport

Suggested Citation

Delbridge, Rick and Mariotti, Francesca, Creating Knowledge and Overcoming Redundancy in Networks: Beyond the Strong/Weak Tie Dichotomy (February 1, 2007). Advanced Institute of Management Research Paper No. 053. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1309583 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1309583

Rick Delbridge (Contact Author)

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 (0)29 2087 6644 (Phone)
+44 (0)29 2087 4419 (Fax)

Francesca Mariotti

University of Stirling ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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