Inter-Organizational Network Studies—A Literature Review
Research on inter-organizational networks is generally fragmented which renders some of the studies incompatible and hinders a greater understanding and coherence of the field. The major distinction—which is not clearly stated in most research—is between the metaphorical description of some type of interaction across organizational boundaries, or whether the term refers to specific social structures between organizations. Whereas the metaphorical approach has previously dominated research, there has been a rise in the use of more structured and quantifiable research, most notably in the use of social network analysis. However, this has not been without serious theoretical and methodological issues. Most notably, a number of the concepts, methods and theories used within the field of inter-organizational networks originate from research in interpersonal and intra-organizational networks where some of the methodological issues (e.g. unit of analysis and boundary specification) are more easily addressed. In order to map the different methodological approaches in the field of inter-organizational networks, this paper presents a large-scale systematic literature review of the last 12 years' research on inter-organizational networks, with a focus on the methodological features. Some of the main variables relate to the unit of analysis, whether social network analysis is applied and what concept of a network is involved. The main findings of this paper are that few of the previous studies have used the full methodological (and thus theoretical) scope of the available data, the most cited papers and those appearing in top-ranked journals are more prone to using social network analysis than papers in general and there is a recent tendency among influential papers to go beyond a narrow application of social network analysis, and rely on multiplex relational data and whole networks.
If 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.
Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CIAI20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CIAI20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:6:p:539-562. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
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.