Strong ties as sources of new knowledge: how small firms innovate through bridging capabilities

Sandor Jan Albert Löwik, D. van Rossum, Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, Arend J. Groen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    71 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    While extant literature assumes an inverted U-shaped relationship between tie-strength and new knowledge acquisition, our study suggests a positive, curvilinear relationship. Our multiple case study shows that firms use specific relational capabilities—which we define “bridging capabilities”—to acquire new knowledge. These bridging capabilities mitigate the risk of overembeddedness in strong ties through increasing multiplexity, that is, through establishing and leveraging multiple relations within a single tie. Our findings suggest that small firms should invest more in the exploration of strong ties instead of increasing their weak tie network. Doing so helps them to reduce alliance complexity, thereby increasing alliance management efficiency and alliance ambidexterity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-256
    JournalJournal of small business management
    Volume50
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • METIS-285689
    • IR-82565

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Strong ties as sources of new knowledge: how small firms innovate through bridging capabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this