A recent line of meta-reviews and empirical work draws attention for issues like alliance capabilities and governance and management of networks (Provan 2007; Borgatti and Foster 2003; Oliver and Ebers, 2001; AMJ special issue no. 6, 2004). The capacities required to manage networks is something completely different from managing single organizations. In fact this is an important bias in management literature in which very often governance and management of networks is implicitly considered as being equal to managing a single organization.
We call for an extension of the reach of network studies into the world of agency and practitioners in order to 'put the guts back in' as has been proposed earlier by Stinchcombe for Institutional Theory, and to address the classic tension in organization studies between agency and (network) structure on the one hand, and between practitioners and organization scientists on the other hand. Whereas the field of organization research tends to reject the separation between academics and practitioners, there is also recognition of the fact that the two communities are different in their world-views and criteria for usability of concepts, models, perception, evaluation, intervention and use of intra- and inter-organizational networks.
Thus, we invite papers on the issue of Managing Inter- and Intra-Organizational Networks that pursue the effort to bridge the loosely connected communities of practitioners and network researchers. In this context we invite papers that for example:
Guest convenor: Keith Provan, University of Arizona and Tilburg University.