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Structural Holes

Structural Holes

The Social Structure of Competition

Ronald S. Burt

ISBN 9780674843714

Publication date: 08/11/1995

Ronald Burt describes the social structural theory of competition that has developed through the last two decades. The contrast between perfect competition and monopoly is replaced with a network model of competition. The basic element in this account is the structural hole: a gap between two individuals with complementary resources or information. When the two are connected through a third individual as entrepreneur, the gap is filled, creating important advantages for the entrepreneur. Competitive advantage is a matter of access to structural holes in relation to market transactions.


  • A major contribution to structural sociology that will stimulate the imaginations of scholars in disciplines as diverse as sociology, economics, strategy, and marketing.

    —George M. Zinkhan, Journal of Marketing


  • Ronald S. Burt is Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Book Details

  • 324 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press