Networks of all kinds, including firm networks, are constructed around power relations. Networks encompass hierarchies of power or they wouldn’t be networks. There would be no incentive for the more powerful members to remain in the network if they didn’t disproportionately gain the benefits of network participation. Just as individuals “network” in order to promote their individual interests (rather than those of the network as a whole), so do firms. Networks can and frequently do take the form of hierarchies, with marginal benefit to the less powerful members… there is no utility in belonging to a network if it does not keep people or firms outside its boundaries. In this instance too, the rewards of exclusivity disproportionately go to the more powerful members of the network who can control who is in and who is out.
— Christopherson S and Clark J 2007 Remaking Regional Economies Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy New York, Routledge