, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 1895–1919 | Cite as

Dynamic evolution of collaborative networks: evidence from nano-energy research in China

  • Na Liu
  • Jiancheng Guan


In organizations, knowledge creation activities are embedded in collaborative networks and are influenced by their partners. Therefore, we examine how entire networks change over time in this study, as well as the reasoning behind the structures of ego networks based on unique scientific research discoveries published in the emerging cross-disciplinary field of nano-energy. These data were extracted from Science Citation Index Expanded. Specifically, we mainly focus on two dimensions of ego network changes: network growth and diversity. Results demonstrate the recent remarkable growth of inter-organizational collaborative networks in the nano-energy field and empirically prove that the subsequent growth and diversity of ego networks are caused by three coexisting driving forces (collaborative capacity, network status position and cohesion) that act collectively. Our study is conducted at the organizational level because we investigate the universities, research institutes and firms that participate in nano-energy scientific research and the collaborative networks formed through co-authorships among these institutions in knowledge creation processes. Moreover, our study has significant implications for the scientific research conducted by organizations in developing countries and emerging fields.


Ego networks Network growth Network diversity Network dynamics Network evolution Nano-energy research 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of ManagementFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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