Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Publication announcement: Network Embeddedness as a Predictor of Performance for New Technology-Based Firms

Another publication I am a co-author of just got accepted for publication at the International Journal of Technoentrepreneurship:

Network Embeddedness as a Predictor of Performance for New Technology-Based Firms
by Martin J. Bliemel, Elicia M.A. Maine
Abstract: The logic of network embeddedness has been widely used in the technology entrepreneurship literature in recent years, yet its operationalization and use are neither well understood nor agreed upon. This paper provides a literature review of the logic of network embeddedness as it has been invoked and operationalized to predict the performance of New Technology-Based Firms (NTBFs). We find that: 1) existing studies, both inside and outside of the technology entrepreneurship literature, employ the logic of embeddedness and operationalize network embeddedness in vastly different ways; 2) empirical NTBF studies frequently use linear and unidimensional measures when invoking embeddedness to explain NTBF performance; and 3) surprisingly few studies rationalize NTBF performance using curvi-linear methods, interaction effects or contingency factors that account for firm contexts and firm constraints. All other operationalizations are subject to unbounded conclusions, thus overlooking the costs of maintaining network relationships. The studies that consider such constraints support the logic of network embeddedness, in that there is a growth-stage appropriate portfolio size and composition that leads to superior performance. Network embeddedness appears to be a useful predictor for NTBF performance when operationalized at both the dyad and network levels and accounting for firm characteristics and environmental conditions. Without accounting for such firm and environment specific variations, the predictive value of network embeddedness is far lower. An appropriate operationalization of embeddedness for predicting the performance of NTBFs should take both the relative benefits and the relative drawbacks of strong and weak ties into account. We propose that it should also account for the limited capacity of the firm to engage in external exchanges of either strength. With such contingencies, network embeddedness can guide executive’s decisions in managerial resource allocation, and policymakers in industry networking activities to stimulate regional firm growth.
Keywords: Network Embeddedness, Growth, Technology Entrepreneurship, New Technology-Based Firm, Networks, Performance

To learn more about my research, you'll have to either read my papers, or just meet me in person. My upcoming presentation at AOM is a good start.
For more info about Elicia's research, you can also check out her new Advanced Materials Commercialization site with Jim Utterback and Elizabeth Garnsey.