Instrumental and affective ties within the lab: The impact of informal cliques on innovative productivity

Manuel Gomez Solorzano, Marco Tortoriello, Giuseppe Soda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we contribute to research on networks and innovation by distinguishing between instrumental and affective ties and assessing their impact on individual innovativeness. In particular, using original data from the corporate R&D laboratory of a global pharmaceutical company, we evaluate how a specific structural arrangement (i.e., belonging to a clique) affects inventors' innovative productivity. Our results show that both instrumental/knowledge‐sharing cliques and affective/friendship cliques correlate positively with inventors' innovative productivity. However, we also observe that when inventors straddle knowledge‐sharing and friendship cliques, their innovative productivity declines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1609
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



  • affective ties
  • embedded triads
  • individual level
  • innovative performance
  • instrumental ties

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