The strength of strong ties in the creation of innovation
AbstractThere is an ongoing debate in innovation research as to which type of social capital is more conducive to innovation: structural holes as proposed by Burt or network closure as proposed by Coleman. Although Coleman focused on the quality of relationships, Burt argued that the structural configuration of relationships was more important. I argue that, instead of being alternative substitutes, Burt's social capital theory complements Coleman's theory. More precisely, I demonstrate that, in the presence of strong ties, weak network architectures (structural holes or a peripheral network position) leverage the strength of strong ties in the creation of innovation. This implies that weak network architectures have no value without strong ties, whereas strong ties have some value without weak network architectures but are leveraged by this type of structure. The findings indicate that innovation research tends to overestimate the impact of weak network architectures in the creation of innovation. By pointing to the necessity of strong ties, the results may be of particular interest for research on open innovation. They suggest that open innovation will not work if closed innovation principles are pushed back.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.
Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol
James S. Coleman Ronald S. Burt Strong ties Structural holes Patents;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fleming, Lee & Sorenson, Olav, 2001. "Technology as a complex adaptive system: evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1019-1039, August.
- Matt Marx & Deborah Strumsky & Lee Fleming, 2009. "Mobility, Skills, and the Michigan Non-Compete Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(6), pages 875-889, June.
- Sorenson, Olav & Fleming, Lee, 2004. "Science and the diffusion of knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1615-1634, December.
- Zvi Griliches, 1998.
"Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey,"
in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
- Zvi Griliches, 1991. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992.
"Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations,"
NBER Working Papers
3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
- Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
- Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008.
"Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2008-22, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008. "Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?," IEW - Working Papers 390, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008. "Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2443, CESifo Group Munich.
- Albert, M. B. & Avery, D. & Narin, F. & McAllister, P., 1991. "Direct validation of citation counts as indicators of industrially important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 251-259, June.
- Michelle Gittelman & Bruce Kogut, 2003. "Does Good Science Lead to Valuable Knowledge? Biotechnology Firms and the Evolutionary Logic of Citation Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 366-382, April.
- Balconi, Margherita & Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2004. "Networks of inventors and the role of academia: an exploration of Italian patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 127-145, January.
- Lettl, Christopher & Rost, Katja & von Wartburg, Iwan, 2009. "Why are some independent inventors 'heroes' and others 'hobbyists'? The moderating role of technological diversity and specialization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 243-254, March.
- repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
- Dahlin, Kristina & Taylor, Margaret & Fichman, Mark, 2004. "Today's Edisons or weekend hobbyists: technical merit and success of inventions by independent inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1167-1183, October.
- Atul Nerkar, 2003. "Old Is Gold? The Value of Temporal Exploration in the Creation of New Knowledge," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(2), pages 211-229, February.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
- von Wartburg, Iwan & Teichert, Thorsten & Rost, Katja, 2005. "Inventive progress measured by multi-stage patent citation analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1591-1607, December.
- Huber, Franz, 2013. "Knowledge-sourcing of R&D workers in different job positions: Contextualising external personal knowledge networks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 167-179.
- Bullinger, Angelika C. & Rass, Matthias & Adamczyk, Sabrina & Moeslein, Kathrin M. & Sohn, Stefan, 2012. "Open innovation in health care: Analysis of an open health platform," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 165-175.
- Charlotte Schlump & Thomas Brenner, 2013. "Firm's cooperation activities: The relevance of public research, proximity and personal ties - A study of technology-oriented firms in East Germany," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- d'Agostino, Giorgio & Scarlato, Margherita, 2012. "Inclusive Institutions, Innovation and Economic Growth: Estimates for European Countries," MPRA Paper 43098, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.