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Paper Presentation

Is High Innovative Performance without Brokerage Possible? A Necessary Condition Analysis

Strategic Management Society Annual Meeting 2020

October 27, 2020 from 13:45 to 14:45 CET

Idea Stairs


The ability of employees to identify, evaluate, and exploit novel ideas is an important source of innovation and competitive success. Drawing upon social network theory and the complementary fit perspective on brokerage, this study shows that network brokerage (connecting otherwise unconnected colleagues) is a necessary but not sufficient condition for reaching high levels of innovative performance. Results from a social network analysis of a professional services firm show that closed workplace social networks serve as straitjackets that limit the discovery and pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. The absence of brokerage, therefore, guarantees the absence of high levels of innovative performance. Our results show that employees in closed networks can only partly—not fully—compensate for the absence of brokerage.

Co-authors: Lotte Glaser, Justin Jansen, and Jan Dul.

Session Details

The presentation is part of Session 1781: Innovation and the Role of Diversity, Inclusion and Networks. The session consists of the following four presentations: