This paper explicates mechanisms in which network embeddedness causes the disappearance and persistence of structural holes in alliance networks. By using codeshare alliance data in global airline industry from 1994 to 2006, I find that triadic closures and bridge decays, two patterns of structural holes' disappearances, occur with the increase of relational embeddedness and the decrease of indirect embeddedness. The findings also show that structural embeddedness increases the likelihood of triadic closures but decreases the likelihood of bridge decays. These results suggest that brokers can maintain structural holes by decreasing relational embeddedness or increasing indirect embeddedness.
2011 The Japanese Association of Administrative Science