• Collaborative Change: Environmental Jolt, Network (Re)Design and Firm Performance
  • Corbo, Leonardo <1983>


  • SECS-P/08 Economia e gestione delle imprese


  • Motivated by the need to understand which are the underlying forces that trigger network evolution, we develop a multilevel theoretical and empirically testable model to examine the relationship between changes in the external environment and network change. We refer to network change as the dissolution or replacement of an interorganizational tie, adding also the case of the formation of new ties with new or preexisting partners. Previous research has paid scant attention to the organizational consequences of quantum change enveloping entire industries in favor of an emphasis on continuous change. To highlight radical change we introduce the concept of environmental jolt. The September 11 terrorist attacks provide us with a natural experiment to test our hypotheses on the antecedents and the consequences of network change. Since network change can be explained at multiple levels, we incorporate firm-level variables as moderators. The empirical setting is the global airline industry, which can be regarded as a constantly changing network of alliances. The study reveals that firms react to environmental jolts by forming homophilous ties and transitive triads as opposed to the non jolt periods. Moreover, we find that, all else being equal, firms that adopt a brokerage posture will have positive returns. However, we find that in the face of an environmental jolt brokerage relates negatively to firm performance. Furthermore, we find that the negative relationship between brokerage and performance during an environmental jolt is more significant for larger firms. Our findings suggest that jolts are an important predictor of network change, that they significantly affect operational returns and should be thus incorporated in studies of network dynamics.


  • 2012-06-20


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Corbo, Leonardo (2012) Collaborative Change: Environmental Jolt, Network (Re)Design and Firm Performance, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Direzione aziendale , 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4489.