Network Lift from Dual Alters: Extended Opportunity Structures from a Multilevel and Structural Perspective

Abstract : This article uses multilevel network analysis to identify an extended and latent opportunity structure for actors dually positioned in both intra-organizational and inter-organizational networks. This extended opportunity structure combines actors’ direct ties with indirect ties that they can add to their own network by ‘borrowing’ some of their boss’s two-path contacts. We call ‘dual alters’ contacts that can be reached through this multilevel path with help (or absence of obstruction) from such ‘embedded brokers’. We test the specific effect of this extension on actors’ performance using a data set derived from a multilevel study of the elite of French cancer researchers (1996–2005). We find a significant effect of this extension on members’ performance when dual alters provide complementary resources, thus providing proof of a ‘network lift from dual alters’ presence in the focal actor’s network. Network lift allows sociologists to measure the extent to which performance measured at the individual level depends in a complex way on the multilevel and combined characteristics of the intra- and inter-organizational context in which individuals belong. We believe that this measurement of latent and extended opportunity structures will help meso-level sociologists in their approach to social processes and inequalities in the organizational society.
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Emmanuel Lazega, Marie-Thérèse Jourda, Lise Mounier. Network Lift from Dual Alters: Extended Opportunity Structures from a Multilevel and Structural Perspective. European Sociological Review, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2013, 29 (6), pp.1226 - 1238. ⟨hal-01524047⟩

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