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Network dynamics, Network evolution, Co-authorship networks, Biotechnology industry, Longitudinal analysis
Despite decades of network research, the crucial question, “How do networks evolve?” has not been sufficiently explored. We explore this question by analyzing the co-authorship networks in the U.S. biotechnology firms. Specifically, from network management and network inertia perspectives, we argue that structural changes in the firms’ co-authorship networks are dependent on the specific characteristics of firms’ initial networks. Longitudinal analysis of the U.S. biotechnology firms over a span of seventeen years largely supports our arguments. Overall, we find that firms’ existing tie-specific characteristics in the form of a firm’s existing network size, tie strength, and the knowledge quality carried through these ties constitute significant determinants of network evolution.