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Organizing and Evaluating Interfirm Networks: A Structurationist Perspective on Network Processes and Effectiveness

Jörg Sydow and Arnold Windeler
Organization Science
Vol. 9, No. 3, Special Issue: Managing Partnerships and Strategic Alliances (May - Jun., 1998), pp. 265-284
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640223
Page Count: 20
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Organizing and Evaluating Interfirm Networks: A Structurationist Perspective on Network Processes and Effectiveness
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Abstract

Interfirm networks in general and strategic networks in particular are considered as an organizational form with distinct structural properties. Due to a lack of adequate theory, the working of network processes as well as the resulting network effectiveness is not very well understood. Structuration theory, developed by Anthony Giddens as a social theory, offers the potential not only to analyze network processes without neglecting structures but also to understand why many rather than few designs seem to be effective. As conceived here, this potential results, above all, from two interrelated theorems of structuration theory: the duality of structure and the recursiveness of social praxis. It will be concluded that these theorems offer valuable insights into organizing networks, especially into how structures of signification, domination, and legitimation shape network processes and how they are reproduced under the auspices of network effectiveness.

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