This study suggests a model recognizing that firm performance in networking arrangements is codependent upon simultaneous consideration of firm behavior and network contingencies. Specifically, this study examines if and how network configuration influence how firms achieve and produce benefits (i.e., performance) from being altruistic, and in turn how firm level gains positively influence the in-group commitment, and as such may invoke relational rigidity or inertia. Using multilevel data from a population of Swedish strategic networks, results reveal significant cross-level moderating effects explaining variation in firm level performance. Results reveal that firms taking part in networking arrangements benefit more from being altruistic in networks which show high levels of altruism, and that firms with low levels of altruism are worse off in highly altruistic networks compared to what they are in less altruistic networks. Further these results also reveal how firms performing well as a consequence of succeeding reciprocal altruism develops higher tendencies to commit to their group and not select other partners in future cooperation. These results are argued to support the importance of reciprocal altruism in networking arrangements, and demonstrate the potential benefits in terms of performance and relate this phenomenon to lock-in effects in network arrangements.
"WHEN NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST: THE ROLE OF RECIPROCAL ALTRUISM FOR NETWORKING PERFORMANCE AND COMMITMENT,"
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research: Vol. 29
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalknowledge.babson.edu/fer/vol29/iss7/1