Network centrality and organizational aspirations: A behavioral interaction in the context of international strategic alliances

  • Elio ShijakuEmail author
  • Martin Larraza-Kintana
  • Ainhoa Urtasun-Alonso


Whereas social network analysis has been associated with organizational aspirations, little is known on how firm’s structural positioning, and particularly network centrality, affects organizational aspirations to engage in international strategic alliances (ISA). This study examines the impact of network centrality on firm’s internationalization behavior within the ISA domain in response to the performance–aspiration gap. We build on social and behavioral perspectives to predict that network centrality and performance-based aspirations will be associated with the number of ISA the firm engages in. Using a sample of 7760 alliance collaborations from the top 81 global pharmaceutical firms for the period of 1991–2012, we find supporting evidence for most of our arguments.


network centrality organizational aspirations international strategic alliances cross-national distances longitudinal analysis 


Alors que l’analyse des réseaux sociaux a été associée aux aspirations organisationnelles, on sait peu de choses sur la façon dont le positionnement structurel de l’entreprise et - en particulier - la centralité du réseau affectent les aspirations organisationnelles à s’engager dans des alliances stratégiques internationales (ASI). En réponse à l’écart observé entre la performance et l’aspiration, cette étude examine l’impact de la centralité du réseau sur le comportement d’internationalisation d’une entreprise dans le cadre d’ASI. Nous nous appuyons sur des perspectives sociales et comportementales pour prédire que la centralité du réseau et les aspirations fondées sur la performance seront associées au nombre d’ASI dans lesquelles la firme s’engage. En utilisant un échantillon de 7.760 collaborations d’alliance des 81 plus grandes firmes pharmaceutiques mondiales pour la période 1991–2012, nous trouvons des preuves appuyant la plupart de nos arguments.


Considerando que el análisis de redes sociales ha estado asociado con aspiraciones organizacionales, poco es conocido sobre cómo el posicionamiento estructural de la empresa y particularmente la centralidad de la red afecta las aspiraciones internacionales para participar de alianzas estratégicas internacionales (AEI). Este estudio examina el impacto de la centralidad de la red en el comportamiento de internacionalización de la empresa dentro del dominio de las alianzas estratégicas internacionales como respuesta a la brecha entre desempeño y aspiración. Desarrollamos las perspectivas sociales y comportamentales para predecir que la centralidad de la red y las aspiraciones basadas en desempeño serán asociadas con el número de alianzas estratégicas internacionales en que la empresa participa. Usando una muestra de 7.760 colaboraciones de alianza de las principales 81 empresas farmacéuticas global para el periodo 1991–2012, encontramos evidencia para apoyar la mayoría de nuestros agumentos.


Considerando que a análise de redes sociais tem sido associada a aspirações organizacionais, pouco se sabe sobre como o posicionamento estrutural da empresa e particularmente a centralidade de rede afeta aspirações organizacionais de se engajar em alianças estratégicas internacionais (ISA). Este estudo examina o impacto da centralidade da rede no comportamento de internacionalização da empresa dentro do domínio de ISA em resposta à lacuna entre desempenho e aspiração. Nós nos baseamos em perspectivas sociais e comportamentais para prever que a centralidade de rede e aspirações baseadas no desempenho são associadas ao número de ISA em que a empresa se envolve. Usando uma amostra de 7.760 colaborações de alianças das 81 principais empresas farmacêuticas globais no período de 1991 a 2012, encontramos evidências que apoiam a maioria de nossos argumentos.


虽然社交网络分析与组织抱负有关, 但企业的结构定位特别是网络中心性如何影响参与国际战略联盟(ISA)的组织抱负所知甚少。本研究探讨了网络中心性对回应绩效 – 抱负差距的ISA域内企业国际化行为的影响。我们基于社会和行为视角预测, 网络中心性和基于绩效的抱负将与企业参与的ISA数量相关联。 我们使用1991 - 2012年间来自全球81家顶级制药企业的7,760个联盟合作的样本, 找到了我们大多数论点的支持性证据。



The authors are most grateful to both the JIBS editor, Akbar Zaheer, and the two anonymous reviewers for their excellent suggestions that improved this article. A first version of the manuscript was awarded Best Conference Paper and Best SIG Paper at the European Academy of Management (EURAM) in Paris, France on June 1–4, 2016. The authors also wish to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education under projects ECO2013-48496-C4-2-R, ECO2013-48496-C4-4-R and ECO2017-48496-C4-4-R.


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© Academy of International Business 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elio Shijaku
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Larraza-Kintana
    • 2
  • Ainhoa Urtasun-Alonso
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Pública de NavarraPamplonaSpain

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