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The concept of similarity in interorganisational networks: an empirical application in healthcare

The concept of similarity in interorganisational networks: an empirical application in healthcare

Piazza, Anna (2019) The concept of similarity in interorganisational networks: an empirical application in healthcare. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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In organisational research, the term “similarity” is frequently used to describe the principle of bonding among organisations, i.e. how organisations come together, thus making the concept as the main factors that leads to the creation and maintenance of inter-organisational relation among organisations. Examples of research that focuses on the mechanisms of similarity are becoming increasingly common in inter-organisational network research. In today’s business environments, organisations do not operate in isolation; rather, they embed themselves in complex sets of relations with other organisations, usually with the aim of exchanging resources and coordinating their activities for the solution of a common problem. But what makes collaboration and coordination among organisations more likely to occur? And, what are the effects of collaboration and coordination for organisational behaviour and performance? One way to address these questions is to unfold the concept of similarity as a multifaceted concept, underlying various social processes operating in inter-organisational networks. The current work builds on the literature on the antecedents and consequences of inter-organisational networks and adds a focus on the concepts of performance similarity (Chapter 4), social similarity (Chapter 5), and resources complementarity (Chapter 6) to explain the dynamics of inter-organisational networks. The three essays draw on organisation and network theories to investigate under what conditions social network structures emerge and influence organisational behaviour. This work shows that (i) Similarity in organisational performance is contingent on how peer effects operate at various levels in inter-organisational networks. (ii) Collaboration among organisations is a function of both geographical proximity and social similarity, whereby the effect of geographical proximity is contingent on the position that organisations occupy within network structures. (iii) The effect of resources complementary is contingent on the geographical location of organisations. The opportunity to address empirically my research questions is provided by longitudinal data collected on patient transfer relations within an Italian community of hospital organisations from 2006 to 2009. The results of the empirical analyses contribute to advance our understanding of social selection (i.e., network theory), social influence (i.e., theory of networks), and co-evolution (i.e., network theory of networks) mechanisms in explaining the dynamics of inter-organisational networks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: organisational research, inter-organisational networks,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2020 16:48

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