The Emergence, Maintenance, and Dissolution of Structural Hole Brokerage Within Consortia


  • J. David Johnson

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    1. J. David Johnson (PhD, Michigan State University) is professor of communication and dean of the College of Communications and Information Studies at the University of Kentucky
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Dean J. David Johnson, College of Communications and Information Studies, 106 Grehan Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506–0042.


This essay focuses on the emergence, maintenance, and dissolution of structural hole brokerage within consortia. The difficulties in forming consortia are well known. Many are associated with the natural structural hole that exists between the parties. Approaches to this problem have been hampered historically by theoretic traditions that have focused on either classic system benefits or more contemporary market consideration of individual interests. Here the author develops propositions concerning the emergence, maintenance, and dissolution of these relationships, focusing on four central factors drawn from different theoretic traditions: homophily, trust, the balance between threats and shared interests, and the balance between differentiation and integration. The author then discusses the implications of this integrated theoretical framework for researcher-practitioner relationships as an exemplar and for trends in network analysis research.