Managing Inter-Organizational Relations

Debates and Cases

by Jörg Sydow, Elke Schüßler & Gordon Müller-Seitz

About the Contributors

Sascha Albers
Oliver Alexy
Benjamin I. Behar
Olivier Berthod
Timo Braun
Paola Criscuolo
Leonhard Dobusch
Horst E. Findeisen
Stephen Frenkel
Anne Haugen Gausdal
Markus Helfen
Chacko George Kannothra
Roland Levering
Rik Ligthart
Florian Löhlein
Stephan Manning
Uli Meyer
Guido Möllering
Manuel Nicklich
Etty R. Nilsen
Niels Noorderhaven
Leon Oerlemans
Jana Okech
Randy Richards
Ammon Salter
Thomas Schmidt
Cornelius Schubert
Dimitris Stevis
Miriam Wilhelm
Chris F Wright
Rainer Zeichhardt

  • Dr. Sascha Albers is an associate professor of business studies at the University of Southern Denmark. His research interests include strategic management, international management, and organisation design problems, particularly in the logistics and service industries. Currently he is especially interested in management problems arising from the interplay of competitive and cooperative structures (e.g. competition within and between inter-organizational networks). His research has been published in major international management and logistics journals, such as the Journal of Management, the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, and Transportation Research. He is an editorial board member of the European Management Journal. Sascha has been a visiting scholar at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a visiting lecturer and invited presenter at various universities and business schools in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He has developed and taught successful executive education courses on strategic alliances, inter-organizational networks, and corporate growth strategies, and has worked with organizations such as AT Kearney, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, DHL, Lufthansa, and Siemens on issues of strategy formulation, alliance governance and internationalization strategy.
  • Dr. Oliver Alexy is professor of strategic entrepreneurship at TUM School of Management, Technische Universität München, where he was also awarded his doctorate. His work has been featured in outlets such as the Academy of Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Research Policy, and Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice. His current research focuses on organizational design, inter-organizational collaboration, and open, distributed models of innovation in innovation ecosystems.
  • Dr. Benjamin I. Behar is a banker and studied business administration and economics at the Freie Universität of Berlin. He received his doctorate with a thesis on associational structures in the German hospital market and worked as a consultant from 2005 until 2008 in the health care sector at McKinsey & Company. He is a lecturer in health care management at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Universität Hamburg (UHH). Besides he is also one of the authors of the book "Modernes Krankenhaus­management". He has been working within the Artemed Group, the fastest growing hospital chain in Germany, since 2009; in 2012 he became its Managing Director.
  • Dr. Olivier Berthod is a researcher at the School of Business & Economics of Freie Universität Berlin, where he also received his doctorate in management. He has held teaching appointments at the University of Cologne, the Toulouse School of Management and the ESCP Europe, among others. His current research focuses on inter-organizational networks, societal institutions and sensemaking. His work has appeared in various outlets and edited volumes, reporting on issues as diverse as the management of UNESCO World Heritage sites, food-borne diseases, and IT failures in airplanes. He currently investigates the governance and coordination of informal networks.
  • Dr. Timo Braun is postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Department of Business Studies and Economics at the TU Kaiserslautern and guest researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin. He has published on cooperative human behavior in projects and inter-organizational networks as well as on cross-organizational perspectives on entrepreneurial processes. He was an International Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York, and Tilburg University. His current research interests are inter-organizational projects and underlying project networks as well as organization and network related research in the field of entrepreneurship.
  • Dr. Paola Criscuolo is an associate professor of innovation management at Imperial College Business School. She received her PhD in the economics of innovation and technological change from Maastricht University. Her research has been published in leading international journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Sloan Management Review and California Management Review. Her research interests include knowledge transfer and innovation at the firm and individual levels.
  • Dr. Leonhard Dobusch is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organization Theory at the School of Business & Economics of Freie Universität Berlin. Prior to this, he had received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne and was visiting researcher at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. He holds a Magister (MBA equivalent) in business administration as well as a law degree and received his PhD in the doctoral program “Research on Organizational Paths”, which was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and situated at the School of Business & Management at Freie Universität Berlin. His main research interests include the management of digital communities, open organizing and open strategy-making as well as private regulation via standards, specifically in the field of copyright. Among his recent publications is “Fluidity, Identity, and Organizationality: The Communicative Constitution of Anonymous” (Journal of Management Studies, co-authored with Dennis Schoeneborn).
  • Horst E. Findeisen is the Vice President Commercial & Business Development at Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance composed of 28 world class carriers with over 430,000 employees and US$179 billion in sales. He has been with Star Alliance from the beginning and, since 2013, holds the position of Vice President. His responsibility covers the alliance network, sales, marketing and loyalty functions, and further the development of the alliance cooperation model to realize new sources of value creation for member airlines. He also leads the membership recruitment projects and the alliance’s business intelligence unit. Horst has more than 30 years’ experience in aviation and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events. Prior to joining Star Alliance in 2000 he served as General Manager for Lufthansa coordinating networks and revenue management with Lufthansa’s vast portfolio of airline partners world-wide. He designed, negotiated and implemented commercial agreements and successfully managed large bi- and multilateral joint venture projects. He also served as General Manager Controlling, where he established new planning and monitoring processes, and supported the spin-off of Lufthansa Cargo. He holds a state certificate in aviation commerce from IHK Cologne and took his MBA studies at the European Business School (EBS).
  • Dr. Stephen Frenkel is Professor of Organization and Employment Relations at the UNSW School of Business at the University of New South Wales. Stephen has authored over 60 journal articles and edited or authored 10 books. He is on the editorial board (or equivalent) member of several journals including Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Organization Studies, the International Journal of Human Resource Management and Work, Employment & Society. His current research interests are the sociology of labour standards in global supply chains and the comparative sociology of work. He has recently completed a report for the ILO on food supply chains and is co-leader with Prof. Elke Schuessler of a five country project on labour and environmental standards in garment supply chains funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, with Wellcome Trust and Riksbanken Jubileumsfond.
  • Dr. Anne Haugen Gausdal is an Associate professor of Organization and Leadership at the Department of Maritime Technology, Management and Innovation of Buskerud and Vestfold University College, Norway. She has published in journals like Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Journal of Trust Research, Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Scandinavian Journal of Business Research, International Journal of Action Research and Systemic Practice and Action Research. Dr. Gausdal is a reviewer for seven international journals. She was an international visiting scholar at the Jacobs University of Bremen, Germany, and at the Eastern University of Finland. She currently teaches Organization and Leadership and Qualitative Research Methods on master level. Her overall scientific production covers three different main areas: 1) Methods for innovation, 2) Inter-organizational trust-building, and 3) Network management, composition and outcome.
  • Dr. Markus Helfen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Management at Freie Universität Berlin. His current teaching and research focuses on HRM and collective action in inter-organizational networks including applications to transnational industrial relations, industrial services and service multinationals. Recent work has been published in Human Relations, Organization Studies, Economic and Industrial Democracy and the British Journal of Industrial Relations.
  • Chacko George Kannothra is a doctoral candidate in the Organizations and Social Change (OSC) Program in the College of Management, UMass Boston. His research interests include: social entrepreneurship – specifically, hybrid organizations that combine both social impact and revenue generation business models and international business – specifically global sourcing, the role of diaspora networks, business policy and strategy for emerging economies (especially countries in Africa and South Asia). His current research focuses on managerial practices and challenges of hybrid organizations and the way they balance tensions between global client demands and local community expectations. He also teaches an undergraduate core course at the UMass Boston College of Management. Before entering academia, he worked with Accenture as a Business Analyst for their Global Compensation and Benefits Administration program as well as a Consultant for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • Dr. Roland Levering works as a post-doc researcher and lecturer in the Department of Management, Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Previously, he was employed as a PhD candidate by the Department of Organization Studies and the Center for Innovation Research of the same university. His research interests focus on sustainable supply chain management and inter-organizational projects.
  • Dr. Rik Ligthart is a lecturer/researcher at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. He holds a PhD in organization studies from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His teaching and research activities focus among others on organizational behavior, (temporary) multi-organizational collaboration, and inter-organizational learning.
  • Florian Löhlein is chief buyer at the Artemed Group SE in Hamburg, Germany. In is highly involved in the post-merger integration of recently acquired hospitals. Before that he was commercial director at the Tabea Hospital in Hamburg. Prior to joining Artemed he worked both as a project coordinator in Portugal, so as international trainee in England and Germany at the health care group Fresenius in various subsidiary companies. Most recently, he was assistant to the management at various locations at Fresenius Helios. As a member of the leadership development program, he coordinated projects for obtaining the quality leadership, supported the development of new product ranges and had purchasing responsibility for multiple products. Florian Löhlein is a graduate of the European economy at the Otto-Friedrich-University in Bamberg and the Moore School of Business in Columbia, SC. In parallel, he studied in the 8th year of the Bavarian Elite Academy in Munich. He is a fellow of the Foundation of German Business (SDW).
  • Dr. Stephan Manning is Associate Professor of Management at the UMass Boston College of Management. He is also founding member of the Organizations and Social Change Research Group, and current chair of the Academy of International Business US-Northeast Chapter. His research stretches across the field of management and mainly covers three areas: sustainability standards, global services sourcing, and project-based organizing. He has done field research in various countries, including Germany, the U.S., Romania, China, Kenya, and South Africa; and industries, in particular global business services, the automotive industry, the coffee industry, and film production. His research has been published in numerous academic journals, such as Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, and Research Policy. He serves as Senior Editor of Management and Organization Review. He is also founding co-editor and regular author of the Organizations and Social Change Blog, and has written for The Broker, The Conversation and other blog platforms.
  • Dr. Uli Meyer is Head of the Post-Doc Lab “Reorganizing Industries” at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) of the Technische Universität München. He did his doctorate at the Sociology Department of the Technische Universität Berlin and was a Visiting Scholar of SCANCOR (Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research) at Stanford University, USA, and at the University of Bologna, Italy. His current research interests are organizations, innovation, and sociological theory.
  • Dr. Guido Möllering is Associate Professor of Organization and Management and holds the EWE Chair of Economic Organization and Trust at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. He earned his PhD in Management at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his habilitation (postdoctoral degree, venia legendi) in Business Administration at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His main areas of research are inter-organizational relationships, organizational fields, and trust. Professor Möllering published several books, notably Trust: Reason, Routine, Reflexivity (2006), and articles in leading journals such as Organization Science and Journal of International Business Studies. He is a Senior Editor of Organization Studies and a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Trust Research.
  • Manuel Nicklich is a research associate at the Department of Management at the School of Business & Economics of Freie Universität Berlin. He studied sociology with a focus on work, industrial relations and organizations. His research interests are changing employment relations, vocational training, and collective bargaining. In different research projects he examined labor and employment relations in the field of industry-related services and the German wind energy sector. In his doctoral project, he researches the effects of inter-organizational restructuring on the establishment of vocational education in Germany.
  • Dr. Etty R. Nilsen is an Associate Professor of Organization and Leadership at the School of Business of Buskerud and Vestfold University College in Norway and Visiting Professor at the Arctic University of Norway – UiT. She has published in journals like the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Journal of Managing Products in Business, and the Journal of the Knowledge Economy. She was an International visiting scholar at the University of Valencia, Spain and at IKON, Warwick Business School, England. She currently teaches Knowledge Management and Qualitative Research Methods on master and PhD level. Her current research interests are regional innovation, learning in organizations and networks, service innovation through implementation of welfare technology in community health care service, and the use of projects as a governing structure in the public sector.
  • Dr. Niels Noorderhaven is Professor of International Management and Head of the Department of Management at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He also is a visiting professor at LUISS Business School in Rome. He has published widely in international research journals like the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organization Studies, and the Journal of International Business Studies. His research interests focus on international business collaboration and inter-organizational projects.
  • Dr. Leon Oerlemans is Professor of Organizational Dynamics in the Department of Organization Studies, Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He is also Extraordinary Professor Economics of Innovation at the University of Pretoria, Graduate School of Technology Management, South Africa, and core fellow of the Center for Innovation Research at Tilburg University. His work is published in for example Organization Studies, Research Policy, Journal of Management, Technovation and the International Journal of Project Management. Research topics include innovation, temporary organizations, interactive learning and inter-organizational relationships and networks.
  • Dr. Jana Okech has worked for several years as a research assistant for the Chair of Human Resource Management & Intercultural Leadership at the ESCP Europe and for the research unit “Internationalization and Organization“ at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Her main research interests are the internationalization strategies of small and medium sized firms, the management of international networks of professional service firms as well as the management of international activities in development NGOs. She received her doctorate from the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Potsdam. Since 2011, Dr. Okech has been responsible for the human resources development at the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment – a federal institute with around 800 employees and with the objective to strengthen consumer health protection in Germany and on the international level.
  • Dr. Randy Richards is a second career academic, earned his PhD at the University of Iowa and, spent almost 20 years in management in both the public and the private sector before becoming a full time professor at St. Ambrose University in the College of Business. During those nearly 20 years he taught at St. Ambrose University as an adjunct for the Philosophy Department. Currently he is the Director of the MBA. In the past he has been Co-director of Master of Organizational Leadership program and chaired the Managerial Studies Department for six years. He is also a contributing faculty member at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management in Zagreb, Croatia and a Visiting Professor at the Technical University in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He also has been a Visiting Associate Professor at Vilnius University’s International Business School in Vilnius, Lithuania; a Visiting Associate Professor at Faculty of Economics of Vilnius University in Vilnius, Lithuania; a Visiting Professor at the Business School Berlin Potsdam in Berlin Germany. Randy has also taught in China and Serbia. He is an experienced facilitator and highly skilled workshop designer for adult learners for the last thirty years including: a job as Director of Corporate Training, 20 years of teaching professional education in the investment, banking and insurance business, a currently active corporate training and consulting practice and a program and course designer for adult learners in the classroom, on the job and over the web. He has several peer-reviewed publications mostly in the area of organizational behavior.
  • Dr. Ammon Salter is a Professor of Innovation at the School of Management, University of Bath. He received his doctorate from SPRU at the University of Sussex in 1999, where he also worked as a researcher from 1998-2002. From 2003-2013, he was a faculty member at Imperial College London, acting as the co-director of the Innovation Studies Centre. From 2009-2013, he was the Research Director of the UK Innovation Research Centre. His research has been published widely, in journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, Research Policy and California Management Review. His current research focuses on open and distributed models of innovation, social networks and innovation, and university-industry collaboration and typically involves engagement with policy and practice through collaborative projects with industrial and governmental partners.
  • Dr. Thomas Schmidt is currently holding a postdoc position within a research project on networked entrepreneurship at the Department of Management, Freie Universität Berlin. He did his doctorate in business studies on innovation and co-specialization processes in strategic networks. He is interested in the coevolution of technologies and networks in innovation-driven industries. With his expertise in qualitative process studies he is studying the evolution of entrepreneurial processes and networks across different industries and institutional contexts.
  • Dr. Cornelius Schubert is a lecturer for innovation studies at the University of Siegen in Germany. He specialises in science and technology studies as well as medical and organizational sociology. He has conducted ethnographic research on human-technology interactions in surgical operations, focussing on coordination, distributed agency and improvisation in high-tech settings. He furthermore studied global innovation networks in the semiconductor industry, looking at the simultaneous creation of organisational fields and technological paths. He is currently studying the impact of computer simulations on predictive knowledge and practice and in politics and the economy. He holds a masters degree in sociology, psychology and linguistics as well as a doctoral degree in sociology.
  • Dimitris Stevis, PhD is Professor at the Department of Political Science at Colorado State University. His work examines the social governance of the world political economy in the areas of labor and the environment with particular attention to social and ecological justice. One line of his work focuses on transnational labor politics and governance, including Global Framework Agreements. Another line is on labor union environmentalism and the relations between unions and environmentalists, in the US and transnationally. A third, and related line of work, examines the role of workers and labor unions in greening the political economy, in the US and transnationally, with particular attention to the justice of green transitions.
  • Dr. Miriam Wilhelm is an Assistant Professor for International Business at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Groningen. After obtaining her doctorate at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2008 she has gained practical working experience in the auto­mobile industry. She is fascinated by Toyota's management practices and has researched various aspects of the 'Toyota Way' such as supplier management, production systems, and HRM practices during several field visits to Japan. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Social Science Center Berlin, the University of Tokyo, the Meiji University Tokyo, and the University of Melbourne. Her work has been published in the Journal of Operations Management and Asian Business & Management. Her current research interests are on sustainability in global supply chains, globalization and its impact on supplier relations in the Automobile industry, managing organizational paradoxes, and Japanese management practices.
  • Dr. Chris F Wright is a University Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney Business School in Australia. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2011. Chris’s research covers various issues relating to the intersection of employment, globalisation and public and private regulation, with a particular interest in comparative employment relations, immigration and supply chains. He is co-editor of International and Comparative Employment Relations (6th edition, Sage/Allen & Unwin), an Associate Editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations and the author of 35 journal articles and scholarly book chapters. In 2015 Chris was awarded the Luis Aparicio Prize for best emerging scholar by the International Labour and Employment Relations Association.
  • Dr. Rainer Zeichhardt is a Professor of Business Administration and Management at the Business School Berlin. His current interdisciplinary research and teaching interests are leadership behavior in organizations and networks, leadership in a context of digital transformation and modern instruments of conflict and change management. Furthermore Rainer Zeichhardt is a management consultant with a broad expertise in the conception and implementation of leadership development programs and change projects.