When Hubs Forget, Lie, and Play Favorites: Interpersonal Network Structure, Information Distortion, and Organizational Learning

Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 9 May 2013

See all articles by Melissa A. Schilling

Melissa A. Schilling

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Christina Fang

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Date Written: May 1, 2013

Abstract

The interpersonal network structure of an organization directly influences the diffusion and recombination of ideas, and can thus facilitate or impede organizational learning. Most interpersonal networks have “hubs” – individuals that have significantly more connections than does the average member. This raises important questions about how hubs influence organizational learning outcomes. Does the presence of hubs improve or impair performance? What happens if hubs forget or misrepresent information that is transmitted through the network? Using simulation models, we find that moderately hubby networks outperform both very hubby and democratic networks. We also find that moderate amounts of information omission or misrepresentation can be surprisingly beneficial to performance, though the patterns of their effects are strikingly different.

Keywords: Interpersonal networks, organizational learning, scale-free networks, recombinant search, exploration, exploitation

Suggested Citation

Schilling, Melissa A. and Fang, Christina, When Hubs Forget, Lie, and Play Favorites: Interpersonal Network Structure, Information Distortion, and Organizational Learning (May 1, 2013). Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2262297

Melissa A. Schilling (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )

40 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
212-998-0249 (Phone)
212-995-4235 (Fax)

Christina Fang

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
90
rank
278,829
Abstract Views
485
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information