interorganizational relations; networks; cooperation and competition; organizational niches; inter-organizational collaboration; niche overlap; hospitals; social networks
Lomi Alessandro, Pallotti Francesca (2012), Relational collaboration among spatial multipoint competitors, in Social Networks
, 34(1), 101-111.
Pallotti Francesca, Lomi Alessandro (2011), Network influence and organizational performance: The effects of tie strength and structural equivalence, in European Management Journal
, 29(5), 389-403.
Pallotti Francesca, Lomi Alessandro, Mascia Daniele, From network ties to network structures: Exponential Random Graph Models of interorganizational relations, in Quality and Quantity
Lomi Alessandro, Pallotti Francesca, How to Close a Hole: Exploring Alternative Closure Mechanisms in Inter-Organizational Networks, in Johan Koskinen, Garry Robins , Dean Lusher (ed.), Cambridge University Press, New York.
The purpose of this project is to establish a general model to reconcile apparently contentious theo-retical interpretations of the effects of similarity in resource dependence profiles on the propensity of organi-zations to collaborate. According to the first interpretation the more two organizations depend on similar resources - i.e., the more their niches overlap - the more intense is their rivalry. Because competition erodes social relations, the lower will be the propensity of rival organizations to cooperate. According to the second interpretation organizations made similar by overlapping niches will find it less costly to communicate across their boundaries and manage their joint resource dependencies by establishing - rather than severing - ex-change relations with other organizations.We argue that the rapprochement of conflicting theoretical visions is possible in the context of a model that admits the presence of a non-monotonic relation between similarity in patterns of resource de-pendence and inter-organizational collaboration. In the model that we propose the propensity of organiza-tions to collaborate is controlled by two opposing forces - opportunity for cooperation and rivalry - that de-pend on niche overlap. The model makes two main assumptions. The first is that opportunities for coopera-tion increase with niche overlap, but at a decreasing rate. The second is that rivalry increases with niche over-lap at an increasing rate. The main implication of these assumptions is a non-monotonic relation between similarity resource dependence profiles and the propensity of interdependent organizations to collaborate and exchange resources. The main analytical task of the project is to provide an empirical test of the model using data on all the organizations providing health care services to a target population of approximately 5,300,000 residents in one of the largest Italian regions. We chose this particular setting because hospitals operate in environments that pose both competitive and institutional constraints. As a consequence, managing cooperation via interor-ganizational resource exchange, and dealing with competition triggered by dependence on similar resources are equally important processes for these organizations. The target data set will contain information on dyadic relations defined in terms of exchange of pa-tients among all the 111 hospital organizations operating in the given region. The observation time frame spans 4 years. Under assumptions of a balanced panel design the final sample will consist of 48,840 dyadic observations. Detailed information on each individual organization is available and has already been partly coded. The full longitudinal data will be made available by the Catholic University of Rome in the context of an international partnership with the University of Lugano. The analytical part of the project involves the estimation of stochastic models for discrete counts. Because the analysis of dyadic data poses complicated inferential problems induced by the lack of independ-ence of the observations, statistical models for social networks will also be estimated. Exponential random graph models (ERGM) will be estimated on the individual yearly panels. Statistical models developed specifi-cally for dynamic network panel data will also be estimated as full sample comes to fruition. The bodies of contemporary organizational research that provide the theoretical backbone of the project are interorganizational resource dependence and organizational niche theories. During the last fifteen years the Proponent has contributed a number of papers and three books to these strands of organizational research. The project that is being proposed represents a natural extension of the research interests and activi-ties of the Proponent who is currently involved in at least two research projects that, although distinct, are related to the current proposal. The first is a European Collaborative Research Project on the “Co-evolution of networks and behavior” supported by the European Science Foundation and by the Swiss NSF. The sec-ond project on “Modeling Cross-Level Interactions in Complex Networked Social Systems,” is supported by the Australian Research Council.