Sub-theme 02: (SWG) Managing networks

Patrick N. Kenis
Tilburg University, The Netherlands
David Knoke
University of Minnesota, USA
Amalya L. Oliver
Hebrew University, Israel

Call for Papers

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:

  • Examine which role organizational networks have in management, consultancy, intervention, and policy making/design.
  • Ask which network measures can be advisable to managers in describing the capabilities and potential of their current and potential networks.
  • Examine how managers/practitioners perceive collaboration and competition in their networks.
  • Examine to what extent outcomes of organizational networks are equal for its individual members and for the group as a collective.
  • Examine what cognitive schemas do managers/practitioners apply to the establishment of network ties, their maintenance and their erosion.
  • Analyze how networks provide flexibility to organizations beyond rapid adaptation or procedural accommodation.


Guest convenor: Keith Provan, University of Arizona and Tilburg University.


Patrick N. Kenis 
David Knoke 
Amalya L. Oliver