Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Long, Rebecca G.

Committee Member

Pearson, Allison W.

Committee Member

Penney, Christopher R.

Committee Member

Daspit, Joshua J.

Committee Member

Marett, Kent.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Business


Department of Management and Information Systems


Organizational Kinship is introduced and developed as a multilevel construct defined by a bundle of exchange conditions and social mechanisms within multi-organizational collaborative networks, and predictive of resilience in those same groupings. The dissertation follows extant multi-level construct development practices to propose the measurement of organizational kinship as composed of this cluster of first-order constructs that span inter-organizational and trans-organizational levels of analysis. This dissertation argues that the resilience or fragility exhibited within an interfirm alliance is an outcome of the collaborative exchange that occurs among member firms, specifically as a function of the exchange conditions perceived by alliance members and the social mechanisms present within the collaborative network. To support this claim, this dissertation considers the resilience of certain collaborative structures, such as family business groups and social cooperatives, which possess collaborative resilience and structural longevity far greater than what is seen in the general alliance literature. This dissertation terms such collaborations, socioeconomic collectives which are defined as interfirm alliances that engage in persistent collaboration in pursuit of both social and economic goals for the sustainability of the alliance structure and collective benefit of its organizational members. A battery of empirical tests were conducted to determine both the structure and effects of organizational kinship in these groupings. Findings suggest that indeed when a multi-level perspective is taken organizational kinship is composed of multiple predictors across levels of analysis, particularly trust, legitimacy, and shared knowledge at the inter-organizational level and network cohesion at the trans-organizational level. Finally, results from a series of multi-level structural equation models were supportive of the hypotheses that when organizational kinship is modeled at as a multi-level construct its predictive capabilities far exceed those of its component indicators at any individual level of analysis. These results, their limitations, and the implications of this dissertation’s findings on the literature of interfirm collaboration and collaborative resilience are discussed.