Interorganizational Networks

Stephen Jones & Andrew H. Van de Ven

In: Encyclopedia of Management Theory

Interorganizational Networks

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  • An interorganizational network is defined as a set of organizations related through common affiliations or through exchange relations. Examples of such networks include interorganizational joint product ventures, strategic business alliances, supply and distribution channels, industry trade associations, governance councils, or human services networks of education, welfare, police, and hospitals in communities. Interorganizational networks are not defined by a particular theory, nor are they considered a theory themselves; instead, a collection of theories is used to explain their structure and influence. In this entry, three theories that underlie most studies of interorganizational networks are explained: (1) social dependence and exchange theory, (2) brokerage or structural hole theory, and (3) closure or social conformity theory. These theories explain why organizations form relations and how certain structural positions ...

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