Ajay Mehra

Research seminar with guest speaker Ajay Mehra, University of Kentucky

The Department of Organization Sciences and the Network Institute cordially invite you to a research seminar with guest speaker Ajay Mehra (University of Kentucky).


We examine how the passage of time (which we crudely distinguish into the recent past and the distant past) shapes the relationship between an individual’s social network and the subsequent production of new knowledge by that individual. We focus on two characteristics of social networks that prior research has shown to positively influence the generation of new knowledge—the resource-richness of individuals in the network; and the extent to which the network contains “structural holes” (i.e., the network is sparsely connected).  An analysis (using panel data regression) of 5813 articles published in elite management journals– between the years 1956 and 2006– by 5286 distinct authors revealed that: (a) the positive effects of resource richness on the production of new knowledge (measured as number of articles published over a span of time) were localized in the recent past; and (b) whereas structural holes from the recent past were positively related to subsequent knowledge creation, structural holes from the more distant past were negatively related to the subsequent production of new knowledge. Our suggests that we may well be prisoners of our past in the sense that the very characteristics that make a network advantageous at one point in time can make it disadvantageous at a later point in time.
Ajay is a leading scholar in the domain of social network theorizing, with a particular interest in perception and cognition of social networks. He has published in top (management) journals such as Science, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science. He is part of the LINKS Center for Social Network Analysis At the University of Kentucky, which brings together leading scholars in the field, including Steve Borgatti, Dan Brass, Dan Halgin and Joe Labianca.

The seminar will take place on Tuesday 21 October 2014 from 14.00-15.30 in room Z009, Metropolitan building, VU University Amsterdam.

If you would like to attend the seminar, please send a mail to c.moser@vu.nl no later than Friday 17 October 2014.