Density and strength of ties in innovation networks : a competence and governance view

B. Nooteboom, V.A. Gilsing

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Abstract

This article re-examines claims concerning effects of network structure from the literature on social networks. It combines a perspective of ‘competence’, in learning and innovation, with a perspective of ‘governance’, in the management of ‘relational risks’ of hold-up and spillover. This combination of perspectives yields six dimensions of the strength of ties. The article develops a distinction between network requirements for ‘exploration’ and for ‘exploitation’. It argues that in exploration there are good reasons, counter to the thesis of the ‘strength of weak ties’, for a dense structure of ties that are strong in most dimensions. In exploitation, there are good reasons for structures that are non-dense, with ties that are strong in other dimensions than in networks for exploration. To test these hypotheses, the article presents evidence from two longitudinal empirical studies of the emergence and development of networks in the multimedia and pharmaceutical biotechnology industries.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Publication series

NameECIS working paper series
Volume200401

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