Imitative behavior: Network antecedents and performance consequences

Advances in Strategic Management (Impact Factor: 0.32). 07/2008; 25:531-560. DOI: 10.1016/S0742-3322(08)25015-1


Organizational networks are generally considered major antecedents of mutual influence in adopting similar practices, typically via a structure of dense ties, or closure. We propose that under conditions of competitive interdependence, closure may be associated with links established to access resources and knowledge and become a possible source of differentiation rather than imitation. We test these and other antecedents of imitative behavior and performance in the Italian TV industry with 12 years of data on 501 productions. We find that network closure is associated with lower imitation, centrality, but not status, leads to imitation, and that imitation lowers performance.

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    • "Second, we use the network visualization software tool Najojo (see the appendix) to add firm labels to the nodes and connect the nodes based on the number of partnerships among the firms in IBM's ego network. 4. We note, however, that the performance consequences of imitation are likely contingent on the specific nature of the cooperative environment, see e.g., Soda et al. (2008). 5. "
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