Title: On the cognitive basis of initiating intra- and interorganisational cooperation

Authors: Michael J. Fallgatter, Marc Gruenhagen, Lambert T. Koch

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Bergische Universitat Wuppertal, Gaussstr. 20, (M.13.23), 42119 Wuppertal, Germany. ' Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Bergische Universitat Wuppertal, Gaussstr. 20, (M.13.23), 42119 Wuppertal, Germany. ' Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Bergische Universitat Wuppertal, Gaussstr. 20, (M.13.23), 42119 Wuppertal, Germany

Abstract: The aims of this paper are to scrutinise cooperation research in the light of a relativistic epistemology and derive research desiderata for networking and cooperation management. Cognitive science has indicated that human perception and the acts of communication between individuals in the construction of social and, thus, also corporate realities are relative. Both within and between organisations, the co-existence of alternative models of reality and the competition between them can lead to contradiction and a lack of orientation with regard to the actual subject of cooperation and the identity of work teams. This opens up a complex area of action for cooperation management in both intraorganisational collaboration (e.g., in virtual teams) and interfirm relationships.

Keywords: cooperative behaviour; organisational identity; interfirm relationships; social construction; interpersonal networks; intraorganisational cooperation; interorganisational cooperation; networking; cooperation management; work teams.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2010.029872

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2010 Vol.7 No.1, pp.80 - 98

Published online: 02 Dec 2009 *

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