The Multiplex Networks of Strategic Alliances and Follower– Followee Relations Among U.S. Technology Companies

Jingyi Sun


Guided by the ecology theory, this study seeks to understand the interdependency between instrumental and identity resource domains that drives the formation of interorganizational networks. Corresponding to the conceptual distinction of instrumental and identity relations, this study examines the multiplex networks of strategic alliances and follower–followee relations. Eighteen years of alliances data of 150 U.S. technology companies were retrieved from the SDC Platinum database and matched with their current Twitter accounts to obtain the follower–followee network, and the two networks were evaluated with a multivariate exponential random graph model using XPNet. The results confirmed cross-network mechanisms at dyadic and triadic levels and showed that the liability of newness and niche similarity affected the formation of multiplex networks. Theoretical and practical implications of cross-domain multiplexity are discussed.


ecology theory, multiplex networks, interorganizational networks, strategic alliance, follower–followee network

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