Understanding Network Formation in Strategy Research: Exponential Random Graph Models

January 2016 | Howard, Michael

This article uses Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) to advance strategic management research, focusing on an application to board interlock network tie formation. Networks form as the result of actor attributes as well as through the influence of existing ties. Conventional regression models require assumptions of independence between observations, and fail to incorporate endogenous structural effects of the observed network. ERGMs represent a methodological innovation for network formation research given their ability to model actor attributes along with endogenous structural processes. We illustrate these advantages by modeling board interlock formation among Fortune 100 firms. We also demonstrate how ERGMs offer significant opportunities to extend existing strategy research and open new pathways in multiparty alliances, microfoundations of interorganizational network formation, and multiplexity of ties among actors.



  • Ji Youn (Rose) Kim
  • Emily Cox Pahnke
  • Warren Boeker


Strategic Management Journal

Web Link