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The Interorganizational Network as a Political Economy

J. Kenneth Benson
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 1975), pp. 229-249
DOI: 10.2307/2391696
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2391696
Page Count: 21
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The Interorganizational Network as a Political Economy
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Abstract

The interorganizational network may be conceived as a political economy concerned with the distribution of two scarce resources, money and authority. Organizations, as participants in the political economy, pursue an adequate supply of resources. Interactions and sentiments of organizations are dependent upon their respective market positions and power to affect the flow of resources. The interorganizational network is itself linked to a larger environment consisting of authorities, legislative bodies, bureaus, and publics. The flow of resources into the network depends upon developments in this larger environment. Interorganizational relations at the level of sentiments and interactions are viewed as existing in an equilibrium framework. Four components of interorganizational equilibrium are domain consensus, ideological consensus, positive evaluation, and work coordination. These components tend to vary together and, thus, to become balanced at varying equilibrium levels. The equilibrium components are limited, however, by their dependence upon the political-economic substructure.

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