Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Curt B Moore

Committee Co-Chair

Olga Bruyaka

Committee Member

G Tyge Payne

Committee Member

Jennifer Sexton

Committee Member

Miles A Zachary


Knowledge is a key resource for firms, capable of providing a firm-level competitive advantage. Interfirm networks are a valuable source of knowledge for firms, as both breadth and depth of knowledge can be developed via interfirm relationships. However, for firms that have acquired and developed valuable knowledge assets, they may view their interfirm network as providing an opportunity for knowledge loss via knowledge spillovers. Knowledge spillovers allow the recipient to gain knowledge without compensation to the knowledge-originating firm. Spillovers lead to a loss of present and future value to the knowledge-originating firm. Indeed, firms with valuable knowledge asset may implement network safeguards to limit potential knowledge spillovers via their network size, intensity, structure, and position within the network. While extant research has examined the effect of networks on knowledge outcomes, limited attention has been paid to how firms may adapt their networks to safeguard their knowledge once they have created significant value in their knowledge assets. Furthermore, as networks are a key knowledge resource, it is unknown if these network safeguards will harm the future value of the firm's knowledge asset due to the restriction of available knowledge. This dissertation seeks to explore these issues by examining how firms with knowledge assets of high value may safeguard their knowledge via their network size, intensity, structure, and position, and ultimately how these efforts may impact the value of their future knowledge assets.