Networks within networks: Service link overlap, organizational cliques, and network effectiveness

Keith G. Provan, Juliann G. Sebastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Scopus citations


This study explored the use of clique analysis for explaining network effectiveness. In data from networks of mental health agencies in three cities, effectiveness, measured as client outcomes, was negatively related to the integration of full networks. In contrast, effectiveness was positively related to integration among small cliques of agencies when these cliques had overlapping links through both reciprocated referrals and case coordination. The findings have implications for both theory and research, demonstrating the value of studying network clique structure and developing clique-based explanations of network behavior and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-463
Number of pages11
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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