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Central network members and innovative change

Jarle Aarstad

International Journal of Management and Network Economics, 2014, vol. 3, issue 2, 144-155

Abstract: Industrial inter-firm networks and interpersonal networks often take a so-called scale-free distribution in which numerous peripheral actors are connected to one or a few highly central actors. Previous research has argued that central actors in scale-free networks will be late adopters of innovations and obstruct technological change. This paper argues, on the contrary, that central actors may tend to be early adopters and will consequently facilitate technological change. It furthermore argues that a network's scale-free distribution can moderate technological change. The paper discusses how the theorising advanced here can have implications for our understanding of the diffusion of technological- and innovative change in the society at large.

Keywords: scale-free networks; central actors; innovation adoption; technological change; paradigm change; technological dependence; network effects. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ids:ijmnec:v:3:y:2014:i:2:p:144-155