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abstract

By combining insights from relational network theory and agency theory we identify the boundary conditions to the embeddedness approach to partner selection decisions in interfirm collaborations. Employing a longitudinal dataset comprising the investment syndicates for the population of UK management buyouts between 1993 and 2003, we find that relational embeddedness is less important for selecting partners when agency risks are low, allowing firms to expand their networks. Furthermore, reputational capital may act as a partial substitute for relational embeddedness, again permitting firms to expand their networks. Our findings enhance understanding of the boundary conditions associated with the relational network approach to partner selections and network behaviour.