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Chapter 14: The Evolution of a Strategic Alliance Network: Exploring the Case of Stock Photography
14 The evolution of a strategic alliance network: exploring the case of stock photography Johannes Glückler 1. Introduction Over recent years, increasing effort has been made to conceptualize an evolutionary perspective within economic geography (Boschma and Frenken, 2006; Boschma and Lambooy, 1999). Evolutionary approaches have theorized a variety of conceptions, among others, the notion of path dependence in regional development (Martin and Sunley, 2006), the role of technological and sectoral variety in regional innovation (Boschma and Iammarino, 2009; Rigby and Essletzbichler, 2006) and the idea of coevolution in regional development (Schamp, Chapter 20, this book). Explicitly or implicitly, many geographical accounts of the economy rely on the notion of networks to represent and analyse economic processes and modes of organization. A dynamic perspective of network evolution, however, has experienced only little attention until recently (Baum et al., 2003; Kilduff and Tsai, 2003; McPherson et al., 2001). The common research strategies to focus on the temporal dimension of networks have been twofold. On the one hand, contingency models of networks have analysed the appropriateness of certain network forms for different environmental conditions. Empirical research demonstrates, for example, that when firms operate under conditions of exploration, that is, high uncertainty and high innovation rates, weak ties and loose coupling are more beneficial than strong ties. In turn, when firms operate under conditions of exploitation, that is, stable market conditions and mature products, strong ties are more advantageous (Rowley et al., 2000). On the other hand, sequential models of non-linear cyclical change...
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