Friends and Foes: The Dynamics of Dual Social Structures

Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming

58 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2013

See all articles by Maxim Sytch

Maxim Sytch

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Adam Tatarynowicz

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Date Written: March 4, 2013

Abstract

This paper investigates the evolutionary dynamics of a dual social structure encompassing collaboration and conflict among corporate actors. We apply and advance structural balance theory to examine the formation of balanced and unbalanced dyadic and triadic structures, and to explore how these dynamics aggregate to shape the emergence of a global network. Our findings are threefold. First, we find that existing collaborative or conflictual relationships between two companies engender future relationships of the same type, but crowd out relationships of the different type. This results in (1) an increased likelihood of formation of balanced (uniplex) relationships that combine multiple ties of either collaboration or conflict and (2) a reduced likelihood of formation of unbalanced (multiplex) relationships that combine collaboration and conflict between the same two firms. Second, we find that network formation is driven not by a pull toward balanced triads, but rather by a pull away from unbalanced triads. Third, we find that the observed micro-level dynamics of dyads and triads affect the structural segregation of the global network into two separate collaborative and conflictual segments of firms. Our empirical analyses used data on strategic partnerships and patent-infringement and antitrust lawsuits in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals from 1996 to 2006.

Keywords: Networks, Organization Theory, Economic Sociology, Strategy and Policy

Suggested Citation

Sytch, Maxim and Tatarynowicz, Adam, Friends and Foes: The Dynamics of Dual Social Structures (March 4, 2013). Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2228276

Maxim Sytch

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Adam Tatarynowicz (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business ( email )

50 Stamford Road
Singapore 178899
+65 6828 0028 (Phone)
+65 6828 0777 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tatarynowicz.com

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