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Business groups as networks

  • Author(s): Lincoln, JR
  • Sargent, M
  • et al.
Abstract

© Oxford University Press 2018. All rights reserved. This chapter explores how business groups can be viewed as networks; whether and how some groups are more "network-like" than others; and how formal network concepts and analytic methods may facilitate the study of a number of salient problems in business-group research. Much of the business-group literature treats a firm's affiliation with a group as an "all or nothing" dichotomy. The network lens, however, forces the analyst to unpack the coarse dichotomy of "group" and "stand-alone" into an array of constituent relations, equivalences, and complementarities, which can in turn be mapped to outcomes such as strategy, operations, and performance. We first consider how attention to such formal network properties as density, connectivity, centrality, and clustering may advance business-group research. We then examine the degree to which a number of group configurations approximate the ideal type "network form"-a leading-edge mode of economic organization in the global economy.

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