K. Dennie Kim
PhD Candidate, University of Minnesota

Research

Better Off Friends? The Performance Implications of Network Formalization
(With Russell Funk, Aks Zaheer, & John Hollingsworth, Job Market Paper)

The interplay between informal and formal network ties is an important determinant of how organizational networks perform and change. However, research in this area often examines the relationship between informal and formal ties in contexts where both types of interaction already exist. In this study, we examine the structural and performance implications of introducing formality into a previously informal network context. To better understand this phenomenon, we introduce a theory of “network bounding,” which views network formalization as the establishment of a new boundary within a broader system of network interactions. Though network bounding is intended to enhance collective performance, we argue that the particular configuration of network ties that are bound may be an important determinant of whether formalization creates a more effective network. Using medical claims data before and after the introduction of the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations—formal networks among healthcare providers in the U.S. healthcare industry—we examine the effects of network bounding on patient mortality following coronary artery bypass graft surgeries from 2008-2014.

Structure in Context: Examining the Modalities of Network Performance
(With Russell Funk & Aks Zaheer, R&R at Academy of Management Journal)

Classic and contemporary studies of organizational networks have focused on the critical role of structure in explaining network performance. However, recent empirical work has reported conflicting findings on the structures that best facilitate collective outcomes. We theorize that the incongruities observed in these studies can be traced to the interdependence between (1) network structures, (2) the character of the relationships that comprise them, and (3) the cultures that sustain and propogate them. Examining these three whole network “modalities,” we develop an integrative framework for understanding network coordination and performance and apply it to study the performance of 250 interorganizational networks—accountable care organizations (ACOs)—in the United States healthcare system, constructed from nearly 350 million patient-sharing relationships. Our findings suggest that disconnected network structures limit coordination and impair performance, more so when relational modality is strong. However, an academic oriented cultural modality may attenuate or reverse the negative association between disconnectedness and performance.