Packing more punch? Developing the field of inter-organisational relations
by Steve Cropper, Mark Ebers, Chris Huxham, Peter Smith Ring
International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances (IJSBA), Vol. 2, No. 3, 2011

Abstract: Since Evan's (1965) call for a theory of inter-organisational relations (IOR), research into IOR has proliferated as inter-organisational practice has become more commonplace. We argue that knowledge about IOR has developed in fragmented and highly differentiated ways, despite periodic attempts to review knowledge and set an agenda for future research. Building on Culpan's (2009) prospectus for research into strategic business alliances in this journal, we argue for a more systematic, concerted programme of consolidation and abstraction of knowledge as a specific accumulation dynamic. We suggest two ways of cutting IOR's fragmentary web of knowledge. The first orders knowledge by researchers' primary substantive interests; the second derives conceptual foci from our definition of IOR. We outline three levels of work to link existing IOR knowledge. We see these as cumulative and increasingly strong, and, together, as forming the basis for consolidation of knowledge in an IOR vademecum.

Online publication date: Sun, 26-Jun-2011

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