Overcoming network overload and redundancy in inter-organizational networks:the roles of potential and latent ties


This paper builds on Granovetter's distinction between strong and weak ties [Granovetter, M. S. 1973. The strength of weak ties. Amer. J. Sociol. 78(6) 1360–1380] in order to respond to recent calls for a more dynamic and processual understanding of networks. The concepts of potential and latent tie are deductively identified, and their implications for understanding how and why networks emerge, evolve, and change are explored. A longitudinal empirical study conducted with companies operating in the European motorsport industry reveals that firms take strategic actions to search for potential ties and reactivate latent ties in order to solve problems of network redundancy and overload. Examples are given, and their characteristics are examined to provide theoretical elaboration of the relationship between the types of tie and network evolution. 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. In so doing, this paper highlights the interrelationship between search and redundancy and the scope for strategic action alongside path dependence and structural influences on network processes.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0634
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
Uncontrolled Keywords: network evolution,interorganizational ties,network overload,redundancy,exploration,potential and latent ties,Management of Technology and Innovation,Strategy and Management,Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Publication ISSN: 1526-5455
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 07:09
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 18:15
Full Text Link: http://orgsci.j ... ontent/23/2/511
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-03
Published Online Date: 2011-05-17
Authors: Mariotti, Francesca
Delbridge, Rick



Version: Published Version

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