We apply a recent and more fine grained concept of authority to interorganizational networks and provide the first empirical evidence on how formal and real authority are allocated in joint ventures. Specifically, we show that intangibility of knowledge and uncertainty impact the allocation of authority in joint ventures via formal and real authority. Moreover, we provide evidence that formal authority and real authority function as complements in joint venture relationships. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.