This study addresses the nature of the networks which researchers use to access resources focusing on the nature of network‐mediated resource exchanges and the relationship to those network connection strengths. Innovation literature tends to assume that for research collaboration weak ties – allowing loose coupling – are optimal, and it is precisely that notion that we seek to test here. This paper addresses the manner in which relational and institutional traits interact in R&D relationships, and specifically the institutional context and functional characteristics of a tie between two researchers. We use Granovetter’s network theory to conceptualise scientific network functioning in R&D collaborative relationships, classifying ties into strong and weak ties. We then analyse how actors’ institutional contexts (and their similarity or difference) affect how researchers conduct resources exchanges. We argue ‘ tie characteristics’ can predict different patterns of exchange behaviours depending on partners’ institutional affiliations. Our findings stress that institutional affiliation determines which tie characteristics are in the best interest for the access to resources to take place.
|Name||CHEPS working paper series|