In this article, the authors examine the acquisition and utilization of information in new product alliances. Drawing from research in social network theory with a focus on the strength-of-ties literature, the authors suggest that horizontal alliances have lower levels of relational embeddedness and higher levels of knowledge redundancy than vertical alliances. The authors then suggest that though embeddedness enhances both the acquisition and utilization of information in alliances, redundancy diminishes information acquisition but enhances information utilization. The authors test these ideas using a sample of 106 U.S. firms that recently have participated in new product alliances. Althouqh the results are broadly supportive of the predictions, they are also surprising because they question key underlying assumptions of the strength-of-ties literature. For example, closely tied individual actors are typically assumed to share both high levels of embeddedness and high levels of redundancy, but the present research finds that this assumption does not hold for organizational actors. The authors discuss the implications of these findings specifically for new product alliances and for research on tie strength among organizations in general.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management