Leadership in interorganizational networks

Research output: Book chapterChapter


That interorganisational networks and collaboration are increasingly popular as an interorganisational governance mode hardly requires any justification (Powell 1990). Yet, research regarding their management is so far limited. While research has principally focused on structural conditions affecting networks (Gulati 1998), it has for the most part ignored network process (Kanter 1994), network performance (Provan and Milward 2001), and, especially, network management and leadership (Huxham and Vangen 2000). The aim of this chapter is to briefly overview network leadership and point towards future research issues in this area, in particular the role of paradox and power. We first review network management research, dividing it into four themes: structural characteristics and formation, process and evolution, performance, and management. Focusing on this last theme, we look at how paradox and power may elucidate the field of network leadership. We show how the unity/diversity paradox is inherent to networks, and its sustenance generates power for the network, which ultimately leads to network effectiveness. Drawing on our and others' research, we suggest leadership activities important to sustaining the paradox and propose that just as networks will tend to become an increasingly important management issue in the 21st century, so will the concept of paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication21st century management: A reference handbook: Volume II
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007


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