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Inter-organizational network formation in a complex organizational field : a study of the formation of two inter-organizational networks aimed at stimulating the economization of biomass from the floodplains

Mangelsdorf, B. (2013) Inter-organizational network formation in a complex organizational field : a study of the formation of two inter-organizational networks aimed at stimulating the economization of biomass from the floodplains.

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Abstract:Dienst Landelijk Gebied wants to facilitate the establishment of biomass chains of organizations in which biomass is produced, processed and converted into energy. The floodplains of the IJssel River are regarded as a suitable location for economizing biomass and hence establishing a fully operating biomass chain. Since resources, knowledge and authority are dispersed amongst organizations, several organizations need to form an inter-organizational network in order to economize biomass from the IJssel River floodplains. In this study the following research question is addressed: How does the organizational environment look like in inter-organizational initiatives aimed at utilizing more biomass from the IJssel River floodplains, and what conditions may facilitate or hamper the formation of an inter-organizational cooperation? The research question is studied by conducting 16 in-depth interviews. Also a social network analysis (SNA) has been carried out in order to uncover the relations between the relevant organizations. In this study two inter-organizational networks are identified that are in the process of being formed. In the first network a collection of (semi) public organizations share knowledge and attempt to organize and economize their supply of biomass. The participating organizations have different, but congruent goals, there is a high variety in organizational resources and the roles that all organizations play differ largely. The second network is a collection of public and private organizations who are trying to set up a pilot project in the river area in order to utilize more biomass from the floodplains. All organizations within this network have differing goals that are not necessarily congruent, however they do have a unique set of complementary resources that enable them to play unique roles in the collaboration and together form an entire biomass chain. Several conditions that facilitated or obstructed the network formation process in both networks have been found. Facilitative conditions were the interdependencies between organizations, positive experiences with prior cooperative relationships, a low threshold for participating in the network, development of ground rules, and the facilitative role of the network manager. Conditions that obstructed the formation of both networks were previous history of conflict within prior cooperative relationships, the selection of an inadequate network partner, little commitment within organizations, little financial incentives, and the lack of agreement upon facts. On an individual level organizations found both financial conditions and staying close to their core operations important conditions for participating in a network.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Dienst Landelijk Gebied, The Hague, the Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63312
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