ICCS2004 Application Submission/Review

Abstract for
"Evolution of Organizational Rationality in Social Complexity: Interorganizational Networks in Environmental Biotechnology Industry"


This research demonstrates how organizational rationality is bounded in social complexity and how interorganizational networks interplay when organizations are dealing with resources of social issues (‘risk organizations’, below). Social complexity is measured in terms of increased normative constraints in the field of interest indicated by the increased number of organizations that support environmentalism, regulations on development and use of hazardous environmental technologies, and civil/international events on environmentalism. Four relationships are specifically examined concerning social complexity and organizational rationality. As normative constraints increase in organizational environments, it is, first, observed that structural positions of risk organizations are peripheralized in network hierarchy. The structural positions are measured in terms of centrality, core/periphery, and structural equivalence of organizations in network hierarchy. Second, it is shown that subgroup formations are more active among risk organizations than among other organizations. Subgroups such as cliques and k-plexes are detected and compared to examine whether or not there is any difference in forming coalitions between risk organizations and other organizations. Third, it is demonstrated that risk organizations in subgroups have more ingroup ties over outgroup ties, compared with other organizations. Lastly, it is revealed that peripheralized risk organizations depend on less variety of ties than other organizations do. A historical network analysis is carried out based on longitudinal collaborative ties between environmental biotechnology firms (EBFs) and other organizations in the industry of environmental biotechnology over the period since 1970. The findings contribute to locating structural positions, sub-networks, and cohesion/solidarity of organizations with resources of social issues that vary depending on social complexity – especially, the levels of normative constraints –, and predicting the flows of the hazardous resources in complex interorganizational networks.