Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Statistics, Sociology

Publication Details

Tasselli, S.& Caimo, A. (2019), “Does It Take Three to Dance the Tango? Organizational Design, Triadic Structures and Boundary Spanning across Subunits.” Social Networks, 59, 10 – 22.


In this paper, we investigate the processes of boundary spanning across subunits within organizational networks. We hypothesize that patterns of advice across organizational subunits are explained by different triadic mechanisms depending on the organizational design of the intra-organizational network. In organizational networks characterized by flat hierarchy, we found triadic cyclic closure to be positively associated to boundary spanning across subunits; but when the network reflects an organizational structure with formal hierarchical differentiation among members, then we found triadic transitive closure to be associated to boundary spanning across subunits. We test these predictions in two empirical studies consisting of two organizational networks that differ from each other in organizational design. We adopt a Bayesian parameter inference approach for ERGMs specifically designed for the statistical analysis of interpersonal relationships within and across subgroups or subunits. We suggest that the effects of informal, triadic network configurations on boundary spanning are contingent on formal organizational design.