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The network dynamic of absorptive capacity: Models and empirical tests

Applicant Lomi Alessandro
Number 146763
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Istituto Media e Giornalismo Facoltà di Scienze della comunicazione Università della Svizzera italiana
Institution of higher education Università della Svizzera italiana - USI
Main discipline Science of management
Start/End 01.09.2013 - 31.08.2016
Approved amount 180'850.00
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Keywords (8)

Stochastic actor-oriented models; R-SIENA; organizational learning; networks; absorptive capacity; health care organziations; interorganizational networks; organizational change

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
Il progetto intende identificare i micro-meccanismi relazionali che sottendono la capacità di assorbimento organizzativa - definita come la capacità che alcune organizzazioni sviluppano di assorbire la conoscenza altrui rendendola compatibile con la propria. Il progetto propone un nuovo modello statistico per la comprensione di come cambiamenti nelle decisioni di selezione dei partner e cambiamenti nell’assetto interno delle organizzazioni siano collegati da una relazione coevolutiva. Il modello propone un’immagine di apprendimento organizzativo come effetto congiunto di decisioni di investimento in capacità produttiva interna e di decisioni di investimento in relazioni con partner esterni. Il contesto empirico in cui il modello viene sviluppato è rappresentato da una comunità di organizzazioni ospedaliere collegate da relazioni collaborative di scambio di pazienti - relazioni che studi precedenti hanno dimostrato essere caratterizzate da un alto contenuto di conoscenza
Lay summary

Titolo del progetto di Ricerca The network dynamic network of absorptive capacity: Models and empirical test.

In sintesi Le organizzazioni apprendono sia attraverso l’accumulazione della esperienza produttiva propria (experiential learning), sia attraverso la assimilazione dell’esperienza dei propri partner e concorrenti (vicarious learning). I processi di apprendimento basati sull’esperienza propria e altrui sono connessi attraverso la capacità di assorbimento (absorptive capacity) – definita come la capacità che alcune organizzazioni sviluppano di assorbire la conoscenza altrui rendendola compatibile con la propria. L’ampia letteratura empirica disponibile dimostra l’esistenza di una relazione positiva tra capacità di assorbimento e performance organizzativa.

Soggetto e obiettivo Questo progetto si interroga sui meccanismi relazionali e organizzativi che rendono possibile e sostengono la capacità di assorbimento. L’obiettivo del progetto è di proporre e verificare empiricamente un nuovo modello di comportamento organizzativo che colleghi processi di cambiamento nella struttura organizzativa interna a quelli di cambiamento nelle regole di selezione dei partner. L’idea centrale è di identificare i micro-meccanismi che rendono concretamente possibile il trasferimento di conoscenza e esperienza attraverso i confini organizzativi.    

Contesto empirico del progetto Il contesto empirico è rappresentato da organizzazioni ospedaliere connesse da relazioni di scambio di pazienti – una relazione che la letteratura esistente ha dimostrato essere significativamente collegata allo scambio di conoscenza e alla trasmissione di esperienza organizzativa.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.02.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Assimilation and differentiation: A multilevel perspective on organizational and network change
Stadtfeld Christoph, Mascia Daniele, Pallotti Francesca, Lomi Alessandro (2016), Assimilation and differentiation: A multilevel perspective on organizational and network change, in Social Networks, 44, 363-374.
Introduction to multilevel social networks
Lomi Alessandro, Robins Garry, Tranmer Mark (2016), Introduction to multilevel social networks, in Social Networks, 44, 266-268.
Multilevel embeddedness: The case of the global fisheries governance complex
Hollway James, Koskinen Johan (2016), Multilevel embeddedness: The case of the global fisheries governance complex, in Social Networks, 44, 281-294.
The embeddedness of organizational performance: Multiple Membership Multiple Classification Models for the analysis of multilevel networks
Tranmer Mark, Pallotti Francesca, Lomi Alessandro (2016), The embeddedness of organizational performance: Multiple Membership Multiple Classification Models for the analysis of multilevel networks, in Social Networks, 44, 269-280.
Social Networks and Social Settings: Developing a Coevolutionary View
Lomi Alessandro, Stadtfeld Christoph (2014), Social Networks and Social Settings: Developing a Coevolutionary View, in KZfSS Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 66(S1), 395-415.
Determinants of Knowledge-sharing Networks in Primary Care
Mascia Daniele, Pallotti Francesca, Dandi Roberto, Determinants of Knowledge-sharing Networks in Primary Care, in Health Care Management Review.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Manchester Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof Tom Snijders, University of Oxford Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Catholic University Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Washington United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
American Sociological Association (ASA) 111th Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference When do interorganizational relations serve client benefit? The Role of Enabling Network Structures 20.08.2016 Seattle, WA, United States of America Lomi Alessandro; Pallotti Francesca;
Second European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN) Talk given at a conference Spatial and social proximity in interorganizational networks: A longitudinal study 14.06.2016 Paris, France Lomi Alessandro; Pallotti Francesca;
Second European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN) Talk given at a conference Influence, selection and spatial heterogeneity in interorganziational networks: An actor-oriented approach 14.06.2016 Paris, France Lomi Alessandro; Amati Viviana; Pallotti Francesca;
31th EGOS Colloquium Talk given at a conference Resource partitioning and the network structure of organizational communities 02.07.2015 Athens, Greece Pallotti Francesca; Lomi Alessandro;
International Sociological Association XVIII World Congress Talk given at a conference The Network Dynamics of Mutual Forbearance 13.07.2014 Yokohama, Japan Pallotti Francesca; Lomi Alessandro;
XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology Talk given at a conference Assimilation and differentiation: A multilevel perspective on organizational and network change 13.07.2014 Yokohama, Japan Pallotti Francesca; Stadfeld Christoph; Lomi Alessandro;
First European Conference on Social Networks Talk given at a conference Organizations as network nodes: A new multilevel framework 01.07.2014 Barcelona, Spain Hollway James; Pallotti Francesca; Lomi Alessandro; Stadfeld Christoph;
7th Analytical Sociology Conference Talk given at a conference Assimilation and differentiation: A multilevel model of organizational and network change 06.06.2014 Mannheim, Germany Lomi Alessandro; Stadfeld Christoph; Pallotti Francesca;
seminar series on Social Networks Individual talk Micromotives and Macrobehavior in Social Network 17.04.2014 Manchester, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Stadfeld Christoph; Lomi Alessandro;
Sociology seminar Individual talk Micromotives and Macrobehavior in Social Network 13.03.2014 Budapest, Hungary Stadfeld Christoph; Lomi Alessandro;
XXXIV Sunbelt conference Talk given at a conference Assimilation and differentiation: A multilevel perspective on organizational and network change 18.02.2014 St. Petersburg, FL, United States of America Lomi Alessandro; Pallotti Francesca; Stadfeld Christoph;
Research Colloquim “Social Network Analysis" Individual talk Micromotives and Macrobehavior in Social Networks 12.02.2014 Zurich, Switzerland Stadfeld Christoph; Lomi Alessandro;
Research colloquia Individual talk The network dynamics of absorptive capacity 13.12.2013 UC Irvine, United States of America Amati Viviana; Lomi Alessandro; Pallotti Francesca;
Bilateral German-Polish Symposium on Data Analysis and Its Applications (GPSDAA) Individual talk Behavioral heterogeneity in dynamic social networks 03.09.2013 Dresden, Germany Stadfeld Christoph; Lomi Alessandro;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
124537 Niches, Networks and The Propensity of Organizations to Collaborate: Theories Models and Empirical Tests 01.05.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
133273 Network influence and organizational performance: Empirical evidence from a longitudinal study of an Italian community of hospital organizations 01.01.2012 Project funding (special)

Abstract

Organizations learn from their own operational experience and from the experience of their partners and competitors. Absorptive capacity - the ability to acquire and use extramural knowledge - is one possible process linking experiential and vicarious learning. The objective of this project is to develop new models to examine the organizational micro-mechanisms underlying absorptive capacity by representing both experiential and vicarious learning as network-based processes. In this perspective experiential leaning comes from deliberate investments in operational capacity, i.e., from decisions concerning the composition of the portfolio of internal organizational activities. Vicarious learning comes from contact with partners and competitors, i.e., from decisions concerning the selection of network associates. The project being proposed intends to derive, implement, and test a new model in which these decisions are linked by a co-evolutionary relation. The model posits that operational experience drives the choice of network partners, which then stimulates learning and triggers change in the internal composition of organizational activities. The addition of new organizational activities - or the abandonment of old ones - determine the conditions for the development of new trajectories of experiential learning eventually leading to the choice of new partners. A new stochastic actor-oriented model (SAOM) is proposed for representing the evolutionary dynamics of this system of coupled organizational decisions underlying the aggregate empirical regularities predicted by the absorptive capacity hypothesis: organizations with similar operational experiences are more likely to be connected by relations of mutual learning. Because the model proposed is not implemented in currently available statistical software, a parallel objective of the project involves programming, testing, documenting, and making publicly available new specialized routines for the specification and estimation of SAOM. The new model and the new estimation algorithms will be tested on a large dataset that has been collected specifically for this purpose. The new routines will be incorporated into R-SIENA (Simulation Investigation for Empirical Network Analysis) - the freely available, R-based statistical software for the estimation of models for network panel data according to the SAOM analytical framework.
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