Essays on macro-level structures and dynamics of inter-organizational networks
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In the strategic management literature, researchers have demonstrated that inter-organizational networks can significantly influence firm-level outcomes. However, an understanding of network outcomes is incomplete without an understanding of the underlying network structures. Firstly, the benefits provided by networks to their constituents and their role as sources of value, including competitive advantages of firms, might be dependent on macro-level network structure and its changes over time. Secondly, understanding how macro-level network structure will evolve can help us predict and understand the changes in the distribution of benefits and constraints afforded by egocentric network properties. Nevertheless, very few studies have attempted to establish a link between macro- and micro-level network effects. In two essays, I seek to further our understanding of inter-organizational network macro-structures. In essay one, I re-evaluate the classical centrality-performance relationship in an emerging market context, China, and find a differential in centrality-based benefits for foreign and domestic VC firms. Further exploration of the macro-structure of the underlying syndication networks leads to the discovery of a correlation between network changes and the changes in the centrality effect differential. These findings have the potential to inform further theorizing and testing on the interaction between macro- and micro-level network effects on firm outcomes. In essay two, I compare large-scale topological properties of the Chinese VC syndication network and the American VC syndication network to seek the differences and commonalities in their macro-structures. More importantly, I compare these results with previous studies in the strategic management field that have explicitly examined large-scale topologies of inter-organizational networks. Aggregating evidence from disparate studies could reveal emergent properties of networks and might have the potential to lead in new directions of micro-level inquires that we may previously have not considered.