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The Missing Link: The Effect Of Customers On The Formation Of Relationships Among Producers In The Multiplex Triads

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Executive Summary

This paper develops a concept of a "multiplex triad" i.e. triplet comprised of actors playing different roles and interconnected by different kinds of relationships. An example of such triad is a social structure comprising two producers connected via horizontal relationships and a customer connected to producers via vertical ties. Multiplex triads are important drivers of network evolution, but their dynamics remains poorly understood. Although conventional wisdom suggests that horizontal ties between producers are driven solely by their prior interactions, the authors find that vertical ties drive the formation of horizontal relationships in a multiplex triad.

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