Interorganisational networks are ever-present in the modern globalized world. They allow organisations to overcome restrictive hierarchical structures, reach broader geographical regions and penetrate new and existing markets. This work provides a novel view on the performance of networks. It investigates the influence of the institutional environment in shaping the characteristics of strategic networks, thereby influencing their performance. The diverging characteristics of a network emerge as a direct consequence of institutional differences and determine the key drivers of performance: flexibility, ability to exchange information and capacity to innovate. A case-study of a Russian strategic network highlights the interplay between institutions, network characteristics and performance.