Access the publisher's page
Advances in Strategic Management 30 (2013) 197-237
This paper explores the emergence and coordination of synchrony in networked groups like those that develop integrated product platforms in collaborative ecosystems. While synchronized actions are an important objective for many groups, interorganizational network theory has yet to explore synchrony in depth perhaps because it does not fit the typical diffusion models this research relies upon. By adding organizationally realistic features – sparse network structure and intentional coordination – to the firefly model from theoretical biology, I take some first steps in understanding synchrony in organizational groups. Like diffusion, synchrony is more effective in denser networks, but unlike diffusion clustering decelerates synchrony’s emergence. Coordination by a few group members accelerates group-wide synchrony, and benefits the coordinating organizations with a higher likelihood that it converges to the coordinating organization’s preferred rhythm. This likelihood of convergence to an organization’s preferred rhythm – what I term synchrony performance – increases in denser networks, but is not dependent on tie strength and clustering.