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Contacts and Contracts: Cross-Level Network Dynamics in the Development of an Aircraft Material


  • Hans Berends

    () (School of Industrial Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

  • Elco van Burg

    () (School of Industrial Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

  • Erik M. van Raaij

    () (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands)


In this paper, we investigate how interorganizational networks and interpersonal networks interact over time. We present a retrospective longitudinal case study of the network system that developed a novel aircraft material and analyze change episodes from a structurationist perspective. We identify five types of episodes in which interpersonal and interorganizational networks interact (persistence, prospecting, consolidation, reconfiguration, and dissolution) and analyze conditions for these episodes and sequences among them. Our findings advance a cross-level perspective on embeddedness and show how individuals may draw on relational and structural embeddedness as distributed resources. The multiple levels of embeddedness impact network dynamics by introducing converging and diverging dialectics, thereby limiting path dependence and proactive network orchestration.

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  • Hans Berends & Elco van Burg & Erik M. van Raaij, 2011. "Contacts and Contracts: Cross-Level Network Dynamics in the Development of an Aircraft Material," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(4), pages 940-960, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:940-960
    DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1100.0578

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    Cited by:

    1. Katja Maria Hydle & Kjerst Vikse Meland, 2016. "Supplying Spin-Offs: Collaboration Practices in the Perpetuation of an Organizaton," Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, Fundacja Upowszechniająca Wiedzę i Naukę "Cognitione", vol. 12(4), pages 51-68.
    2. Elco Burg & Hans Berends & Erik M. Raaij, 2014. "Framing and Interorganizational Knowledge Transfer: A Process Study of Collaborative Innovation in the Aircraft Industry," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 349-378, May.
    3. Stefan Wagner & Martin C. Goossen, 2018. "Knowing me, knowing you: Inventor mobility and the formation of technology-oriented alliances," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-18-01, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    4. Patrícia Lopes Costa & Ana Margarida Graça & Pedro Marques-Quinteiro & Catarina Marques Santos & António Caetano & Ana Margarida Passos, 2013. "Multilevel Research in the Field of Organizational Behavior," SAGE Open, , vol. 3(3), pages 21582440134, August.
    5. Mariëtte Kaandorp & Elco van Burg & Tomas Karlsson, 2020. "Initial Networking Processes of Student Entrepreneurs: The Role of Action and Evaluation," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 44(3), pages 527-556, May.


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