The Role of Networks for Innovation in Temporary and Project-Based Organizations

  • Federica Brunetta
  • Paolo Boccardelli
  • Andrea Lipparini
Chapter

Abstract

This theoretical contribution discusses the role of networks for innovation in project-based organizations. Network serve as loci for innovation in providing timely access to knowledge and resources that are  otherwise unavailable  and stimulating internal expertise and learning capabilities‚ especially in industries in which complex knowledge bases expand rapidly. Moreover, networks may serve as the  alternative access to resources that are not readily available through market exchanges. The aim of this contribution is to address some of the critical issues related to a better understanding of how diverse network structures impact on innovation. The authors build upon social network arguments, drawing on the idea that “optimal” network structure should be understood according to the context in which the network is embedded, the nature of the actors and the content of the relationships.

References

  1. Afuah, A. (2000). How much do your co-opetitors’ capabilities matter in the face of technological change? Strategic Management Journal, 21(3), 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahuja, G. (2000). Collaboration networks, structural holes, and innovation: A longitudinal study. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, 425–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arora, A., & Gambardella, A. (1990). Complementarity and external linkages: The strategies of the large firms in biotechnology. Journal of Industrial Economics, 38, 361–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baker, W. E., & Obstfeld, D. (1999). Social capital by design: Structures, strategies, and institutional context. Corporate social capital and liability (pp. 88–105). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bechky, B. A. (2006). Gaffers, gofers, and grips: Role-based coordination in temporary organizations. Organization Science, 17(1), 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brass, D., Galaskiewicz, J., Greve, H., & Tsai, W. (2004). Taking stock of networks and organizations: A multilevel perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 47, 795–817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brunetta, F., Boccardelli, P., & Lipparini, A. (2015). Central positions and performance in the scientific community. Evidences from clinical research projects. Journal of Business Research, 68(5), 1074–1081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burt, R. (1992). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Burt, R. (1997). The contingent value of social capital. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42.Google Scholar
  10. Burt, R. (2001). Structural holes versus network closure as social capital, social capital: Theory and research: 31–56.Google Scholar
  11. Burt, R. S. (2004). Structural holes and good ideas. American Journal of Sociology, 110(2), 349–399.Google Scholar
  12. Buskens, V., & van de Rijt, A. (2008). Dynamics of networks if everyone strives for structural holes 1. American Journal of Sociology, 114, 371–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Capaldo, A. (2007). Network structure and innovation: The leveraging of a dual network as a distinctive relational capability. Strategic Management Journal, 28, 585–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. The American Journal of Sociology, 94, 95–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DeBresson, C., & Amesse, F. (1991). Networks of innovators—A review and introduction to the issue. Research Policy, 20, 363–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dyer, J., & Nobeoka, K. (2000). Creating and managing a high-performance knowledge-sharing network: The Toyota case. Strategic Management Journal, 21, 345–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Edquist, C. (1997). Systems of innovation: Technologies, institutions and organizations (Book). Long Range Planning.Google Scholar
  18. Freeman, L. C. (1979). Centrality in social networks conceptual clarification. Social Networks, 1(3), 215–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Freeman, C. (1991). Networks of innovators: A synthesis of research issues. Research Policy, 20, 499–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gargiulo, M., & Benassi, M. (2000). Trapped in your own net? Network cohesion, structural holes, and the adaptation of social capital. Organization Science, 11, 183–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grandori, A., & Soda, G. (1995). Inter-firm networks: Antecedents mechanisms and forms. Organization Studies, 16, 183–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gulati, R. (1995). Social structure and alliance formation patterns: A longitudinal analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40.Google Scholar
  25. Gulati, R. (1998). Alliances and networks. Strategic Management Journal, 19, 293–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gulati, R. (1999). Network location and learning: The influence of network resources and firm capabilities on. Strategic Management Journal, 20, 397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gulati, R., Nohria, N., & Zaheer, A. (2000). Strategic networks. Strategic Management Journal, 21, 203–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hagedoorn, J. (1993). Understanding the rationale of strategic technology partnering: Interorganizational modes of cooperation and sectoral differences. Strategic Management Journal, 14, 371–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hamel, G., Doz, Y., & Prahalad, C. (1989). Collaborate with your competitors and win. Harvard Business Review, 67(1), 133–139.Google Scholar
  30. Hansen, M. T. (1999). The search-transfer problem: The role of weak ties in sharing knowledge across organization subunits. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(1), 82–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jarrillo, J. C. (1988). On strategic networks. Strategic Management Journal, 9, 31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kline, J., & Rosenberg, N. (1986). An overview of innovation. In R. Landau & N. Rosenberg (Eds.), The positive sum strategy: Harnessing technology for economic growth. Washington: National Academic Press.Google Scholar
  33. Kogut, B. (1988). Joint ventures: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. Strategic Management Journal, 9, 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lampel, J., Lant, T., & Shamsie, J. (2000). Balancing act: Learning from organizing practices in cultural industries. Organization Science, 11(3), 263–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Laumann, E. O., Galaskiewicz, J., & Marsden, P. V. (1978). Community structure as interorganizational linkages. Annual Review of Sociology, 4, 455–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miles, R., & Snow, C. (1986). Network organizations: New concepts for new forms, McKinsey Quarterly: 53–66.Google Scholar
  37. Mitchell, W. (1969). Social networks in urban situations. Manchester: Manchester University.Google Scholar
  38. Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.Google Scholar
  39. Obstfeld, D. (2005). Social networks, the tertius iungens orientation, and involvement in innovation. Administrative science quarterly, 50(1), 100–130.Google Scholar
  40. Oliver, C. (1990). Determinants of interorganizational relationships: Integration and future directions. Academy of Management Review, 15, 241–265.Google Scholar
  41. Patel, P., & Pavitt, K. (1994). The continuing, widespread (and neglected) importance of improvements in mechanical technologies. Research Policy, 23(5), 533–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pennings, J. (1981). Strategically interdependent organizations. In P. C. Nystrom, & W. H. Starbuck (Eds.), Handbook of organization design, Vol. I, 435–455. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Pennings, J., & Harianto, F. (1992a). The diffusion of technological innovation in the commercial banking industry. Strategic Management Journal, 13, 29–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pennings, J., & Harianto, F. (1992b). Technological networking and innovation implementation. Organization Science, 3(3), 356–382.Google Scholar
  45. Perks, H., & Jeffery, R. (2006). Global network configuration for innovation: A study of international fibre innovation. R&D Management, 37(1), 67–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Perks, H., & Easton, G. (2000). Strategic alliances: Partner as customer. Industrial Marketing Management, 29, 327–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Podolny, J. M. (1994). Market uncertainty and the social character of economic exchange. Administrative Science Quarterly, 39(3) 458–483.Google Scholar
  48. Podolny, J., & Page, K. (1998). Network forms of organization. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 57–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Powell, W. W., Koput, K. W., & Smith-Doerr, L. (1996). Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(1), 116–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Powell, W., Koput, K., Smith-Doerr, L., & Owen-Smith, J. (1999). Network position and firm performance: Organizational returns to collaboration in the biotechnology industry. Research in the Sociology of Organizations: A Research Annual, 16, 129–159.Google Scholar
  51. Provan, K. G., Fish, A., & Sydow, J. (2007). Interorganizational networks at the network level: A review of the empirical literature on whole networks. Journal of Management, 33(3), 479–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reagans, R., & Zuckerman, E. W. (2001). Networks, diversity, and productivity: The social capital of corporate R&D teams. Organization Science, 12(4), 502–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rogers, E. (2003). Diffusion of innovation. London: Free Press.Google Scholar
  54. Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The theory of economic development. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Shan, W., Walker, G., & Kogut, B. (1994). Interfirm cooperation and startup innovation in the biotechnology industry. Strategic Management Journal, 15, 387–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Soda, G., & Usai, A. (1999). The dark side of dense networks: from embeddedness to indebtedness. In A. Grandori (Ed.), Interfirm networks: Organization and industrial competitiveness. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Teece, D. J. (1992). Strategies for capturing the financial benefits from technological innovation. In N. Rosenberg, R. Landau, & D. C. Mowery (Eds.), Technology and the wealth of nations. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Uzzi, B. (1997). Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42.Google Scholar
  59. Walker, G., Kogut, B., & Shan, W. (1997). Social capital, structural holes and the formation of an industry network. Organization Science, 8, 109–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zaheer, A., & Soda, G. (2009). Network evolution: The origins of structural holes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zaheer, A., McEvily, B., & Perrone, V. (1998). Does trust matter? Exploring the effects of interorganizational and interpersonal trust on performance. Organization Science, 9 (2), 141–159.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federica Brunetta
    • 1
  • Paolo Boccardelli
    • 1
  • Andrea Lipparini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Business and Management and LUISS Business SchoolLUISS Guido Carli UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of ManagementUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations