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A Web of Alliances in the Global Telecommunication Industry
Unformatted Document Text:  Global Telecommunication 6 interaction of overlapping or multiple linkages in a population. Although the theory of organizational fields focuses on the institutional side of markets, its analytical framework may be applied to the study of interorganizational networks because it examines the global structure of interorganizational networks. In studying the structure of interorganizational networks, “the term structure refers to the manner in which dyadic relationships are articulated with one another” (Zukin & DiMaggio, 1990, p.18). Based on this concept of the structure, previous research on interorganizational networks such as strategic alliances has focused on dyadic relationships, examining relationships between two organizations (Gulati, 1999; Hagedoorn, 1993). However, the dyadic approach to interorganizational networks may result in some limitations in that the prior dyadic approach has not adequately explained the structure of the global network. For example, from the network perspective, triadic structures among actors are conceptually different from dyad structures (Simmel, 1955; Krackhardt, 1999). According to Simmel (1950), “adding to a third party to a dyad completely changes them” (p.138). In this context, using the overall strength of the triad is more useful in explaining organizational structures and behaviors than using dyadic relationships. Simply, there is a structural difference between dyads and triads. Thus, it is necessary to include the idea of a third party in the study of dyadic networks. In this sense, the analysis of interorganizational networks cannot be limited to dyadic relationships. Simply, “individual relational ties are the crucial components of dyads; dyads constitute triads; triads are constrained in higher order subgraphs; and all are embedded in complete networks” (Galaskiewicz & Wasserman, 1994, xiii).

Authors: Chon, Bum Soo. and Barnett, George.
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Global Telecommunication 6
interaction of overlapping or multiple linkages in a population. Although the theory of
organizational fields focuses on the institutional side of markets, its analytical framework may be
applied to the study of interorganizational networks because it examines the global structure of
interorganizational networks.
In studying the structure of interorganizational networks, “the term structure refers to the
manner in which dyadic relationships are articulated with one another” (Zukin & DiMaggio,
1990, p.18). Based on this concept of the structure, previous research on interorganizational
networks such as strategic alliances has focused on dyadic relationships, examining relationships
between two organizations (Gulati, 1999; Hagedoorn, 1993). However, the dyadic approach to
interorganizational networks may result in some limitations in that the prior dyadic approach has
not adequately explained the structure of the global network. For example, from the network
perspective, triadic structures among actors are conceptually different from dyad structures
(Simmel, 1955; Krackhardt, 1999). According to Simmel (1950), “adding to a third party to a
dyad completely changes them” (p.138). In this context, using the overall strength of the triad is
more useful in explaining organizational structures and behaviors than using dyadic relationships.
Simply, there is a structural difference between dyads and triads. Thus, it is necessary to include
the idea of a third party in the study of dyadic networks. In this sense, the analysis of
interorganizational networks cannot be limited to dyadic relationships. Simply, “individual
relational ties are the crucial components of dyads; dyads constitute triads; triads are constrained
in higher order subgraphs; and all are embedded in complete networks” (Galaskiewicz &
Wasserman, 1994, xiii).


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