Sub-theme 07: (SWG) Multi-Level Network Research: Micro-foundations of Organizational Networks

Leon A.G. Oerlemans
Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Tiziana Casciaro
University of Toronto, Canada
Julia Brennecke
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Call for Papers

Micro-foundations have become an important topic in management and organization research, linking explanatory mechanisms at the micro-level to macro-level organizational processes and outcomes (Kleinbaum & Stuart, 2014; Rogan & Mors, 2014; Casciaro et al., 2015; Tasselli et al., 2015).
To enhance our understanding of the micro-foundations of organizational networks, we seek research on the impact of individual-level and interpersonal mechanisms (e.g., cognition, affect, motivation, behavior) on network emergence at the macro-level (e.g., organizational subunits or the organization as a whole). We wish for the work of this standing group to contribute to moving past the treatment of individual network actors as “black boxes” and better understand their role in the process of tie creation, maintenance, and dissolution.
We encourage submissions with disciplinary roots in a wide variety of perspectives on organizations, including organizational theory, institutional economics, structural sociology, social psychology, social cognition, public policy, economic geography, health care management, moral psychology, and organizational behavior.
Submissions can focus on – but are not limited to – the following research questions:

  • How do individuals’ characteristics (e.g., cognitive capabilities, personality, skills, and behaviors) influence organizational tie formation and network emergence and evolution?
  • What role do individual agency and structural opportunity play in the emergence of organizational networks?
  • How do individual cognition, affect and motivation interact with network structure to influence organizational phenomena?
  • When can we claim a clear direction of causality from micro to macro? What role do structural interdependencies play?
  • What is the interplay of social identities and network roles?

We welcome contributions that tackle these and related issues from a variety of empirical perspectives. We are also open to innovative conceptual contributions.


  • Casciaro, T., Barsade, S.G., Edmondson, A.C., Gibson, C.B., Krackhardt, D., & Labianca, G. (2015): “The Integration of Psychological and Network Perspectives in Organizational Scholarship.” Organization Science, 26 (4), 1162–1176.
  • Kleinbaum, A.M., & Stuart, T.E. (2014): “Network responsiveness: The social structural microfoundations of dynamic capabilities.” Academy of Management Perspectives, 28 (4), 353–367.
  • Rogan, M., & Mors, M.L. (2014): “A network perspective on individual-level ambidexterity in organizations.” Organization Science, 25 (6), 1860–1877.
  • Tasselli, S., Kilduff, M., & Menges, J.I. (2015): “The Microfoundations of Organizational Social Networks: A Review and an Agenda for Future Research.” Journal of Management, 41 (5), 1361–1387.
Leon A.G. Oerlemans is Professor of Organizational Dynamics in the Department of Organization Studies, Tilburg University, The Netherlands. He is also Extraordinary Professor Economics of Innovation at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His research interests include multi-actor temporary organizations, green consumption, and inter-organizational relationships and networks.
Tiziana Casciaro is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Rotman School of Management and the holder of the Professorship in Leadership Development at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research concerns the psychological mechanisms responsible for the formation of social networks within and between organizations.
Julia Brennecke is Lecturer in Innovation and Knowledge Management at the University of Liverpool Management School, UK, and an adjunct researcher at the Centre for Transformative Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on networks within and between organizations, with the aim of creating a better understanding of how and why network ties form, and exposing the consequences of network connections for innovation.