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Ambiguity, complexity and dynamics in the membership of collaboration

Huxham, Chris and Vangen, Siv (2000). Ambiguity, complexity and dynamics in the membership of collaboration. Human Relations, 53(6) pp. 771–806.

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This paper is concerned with the role that membership structures of inter-organizational collaborations have on the achievement of collaborative advantage in the context of tackling social issues. Based on action research involving participants in a wide variety of collaborative situations, the paper aims to explore the nature of the membership of collaborations in practice. A picture of membership is built up from two perspectives. The first considers the structure of collaboration, and argues that ambiguity and complexity in structure may be demonstrated over many dimensions. The second adds another layer of complication through exploring the dynamics of the way in which membership structures change over time. The paper concludes by examining the implications for practitioners and policy makers of this picture in terms of its effect on the design of collaborations and on the factors which tend to lead to collaborative inertia instead of collaborative advantage.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2000 The Tavistock Institute
ISSN: 0018-7267
Keywords: networks; alliances; management tension; action research; collaboration; collaborative advantage partnership
Academic Unit/Department: Open University Business School
Item ID: 16220
Depositing User: Siv Vangen
Date Deposited: 12 May 2009 09:30
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2015 11:22
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