Thursday, December 6 2018
15:30 - 16:30

Alladi Ramakrishnan Hall

Filtering Biotech: detecting the organizational building blocks of the emergent Biotech industry (1972-1981) through network filtration

Massimo Warglien

Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, Italy

In most applications of network analysis to organizations, it is common to analyze networks of firms (e.g. alliances) or of individual ties between them (e.g. interlocking directorates). We take a different path by analyzing networks of features or traits in an emerging industry (biotech 1972-1981) to detect the building blocks of complementary traits that shape Biotech firms in such seminal period. We construct and weigh the edges of the networks by observed traits co-occurrence and mutual exclusion in each firm, and filtrate the network to construct a “growth history” of the connected components of the biotech industry. We show that the industry is bi-polarized by two alternative systems of traits, that characterize “in science to do business” and “in business to do science” organizations. We discuss the different properties of the network filtration of positive ties (complements) and negative ties (substitutes or trade-offs): while complements components grow by transitive closure, trade-offs grow by quadrilaterals with simple combinatorial properties. This work is in collaboration with Woody Powell at Stanford University.

Brief biography:
Massimo Warglien is a Professor at the Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia. He is a board member of the Centre for the Humanities and Social Change and the director, Center for Experimental Research in Management and Economics, Ca' Foscari. His current research interests include culture and economic behavior, language and interaction, behavioral game theory, the emergence of organization, geometry and semantics, natural language processing.

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