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Keywords:

  • directorate interlock;
  • performance;
  • uncertainty;
  • networks;
  • resource dependence

We examine how uncertainty influences the performance effects of directorate interlocks. Our study offers a new perspective of directorate interlocks as mechanisms that enable firms to improve performance when confronted with greater uncertainty, suggesting that uncertainty positively moderates the interlock-performance relationship. This contrasts with the view based on resource dependence theory suggesting networks reduce uncertainty and enhance firm performance, implying that uncertainty mediates the interlock effect upon performance. Using a sample of 3,745 firms across manufacturing industries in the United States during the period 2001–2009, we find support for the moderation argument and less convincing support for mediation, suggesting that firms may not form interlocks necessarily to reduce uncertainty. Instead, firms may create interlocks to enable adaptation and enhance performance when confronted by uncertainty. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.