A dynamic perspective on diversities and network change: partner entry, exit and persistence
by JianCheng Guan; JingJing Zhang; Yan Yan
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 74, No. 1/2/3/4, 2017

Abstract: We depart from prior research on the outcomes of egocentric network structure by shifting focus to the antecedents of the network change. Partners and knowledge composition are crucial for the evolution and change of egocentric networks which received insufficient theoretical attention. Our study advances extant literature by linking two types of diversities (i.e. collaborative diversity and knowledge diversity) with three kinds of partner dynamics (i.e. entry, exit and persistence of partners). To test our hypotheses, we choose 6,066 patents from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database applied by a high-technology firm in the period 1976-2013. Through seemingly unrelated regressions (SURs), findings indicate that collaborative diversity contributes significantly to the entry and exit of partners. Knowledge diversity, on the other hand, facilitates adding and retaining partners, but hinders the exit of partners. In addition, we expect that tenure needs to be considered to fully understand the effectiveness of diversities. Hence, we not only conceptually and empirically link diversities with network dynamics, but also reveal how the relationships are moderated by knowledge worker tenure. We contribute to the theoretical understandings of the mechanism underlying the network dynamics as well as to the management practice.

Online publication date: Wed, 12-Apr-2017

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