Rank, ON; Robins, GL; Pattison, PE
In this study we examine the structural logic underlying complex intraorganizational networks. Drawing on different propositions about structural regularities in networks and using a comparative case study, we empirically investigate the structural logic of collaborative networks for the strategic decision process in two German corporations. In both organizations, data were gathered on cooperative relationships between all managers belonging to the top two management levels. We model structural regularities at the dyadic and the extradyadic level by applying a class of multivariate exponential random graph models. Our findings contribute to the existing literature in three ways: (1) Although networks are particularly likely to exhibit some types of structural regularities (e.g., reciprocity and transitivity), there are other relational forms such as cycles that seem to be of limited relevance. (2) Structural regularities are not limited to a single type of relation but may comprise instrumental and affective relational ties simultaneously. (3) An organization's formal cooperation structure has surprisingly limited influence on the structural patterns of cooperation, whereas friendship ties are embedded in managers' regular interaction patterns in many different ways.