Structural Antecedents of Corporate Network Evolution

F. Wijen, N. Noorderhaven, and W. Vanhaverbeke, Structural Antecedents of Corporate Network Evolution, International Journal of Business Environment, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 207-233, 2011

49 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2011 Last revised: 18 Sep 2012

See all articles by Frank Wijen

Frank Wijen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Niels G. Noorderhaven

Tilburg University - Center for Innovation Research

Wim Vanhaverbeke

Hasselt University; University of Surrey; ESADE Business School

Date Written: October 17, 2010

Abstract

While most network studies adopt a static view, we argue that corporate social networks are subject to endogenous dynamics of cognitive path dependence and self-reinforcing power relations. Over time, these dynamics drive corporate networks to become increasingly focused (i.e., more homogeneous, stable, and tightly knit). More focused networks induce organisations to perpetuate existing routines, at the expense of developing new capabilities. We examine the role of organisational structure in maintaining balanced, rather than focused, networks, so that business organisations can realise progressive and timely adjustments to their evolving environments. We develop a theoretical argument, illustrated with the divergent network adjustment patterns of two large, mature companies, suggesting that business organisations with the following structural antecedents are likely to maintain balanced networks: the concurrence of centralisation and decentralisation; a high degree of differentiation and an intermediate level of integration; and an intermediate degree of formalisation.

Keywords: Social Networks, Network Dynamics, Organizational Structure, Centralization, Differentiation, Integration, Formalization

Suggested Citation

Wijen, Frank and Noorderhaven, Niels G. and Vanhaverbeke, Wim, Structural Antecedents of Corporate Network Evolution (October 17, 2010). F. Wijen, N. Noorderhaven, and W. Vanhaverbeke, Structural Antecedents of Corporate Network Evolution, International Journal of Business Environment, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 207-233, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1916236

Frank Wijen (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Room T07-38
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
31 10 4081985 (Phone)

Niels G. Noorderhaven

Tilburg University - Center for Innovation Research

Wim Vanhaverbeke

Hasselt University ( email )

Agoralaan - building D
Gebouw D
Diepenbeek, 3590
Belgium
+3216623663 (Phone)
+3216623663 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://wimvanhaverbeke.be

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom
+32478332440 (Phone)

ESADE Business School

Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
39
Abstract Views
386
PlumX Metrics