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Collaborative Tensions: Practitioners' Experiences of Interorganizational Relationships

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Abstract:

Organizations and the relationships they create are rife with tensions that pull individual participants and whole organizations in opposing directions. When multiple organizations form relationships with one another these tensions may take on new forms and create new challenges for individual and organizational participants. This study utilized a focus-group methodology to explore how participants in collaborative interorganizational relationships (IORs) experience and cope communicatively with tensions. The data suggest that tensions exist across two areas: relationships and structures. We found that tensions in collaboration are common, acknowledged, and that the tensions manifest and are addressed through communication.

Keywords: Collaboration; Dialectical Theory; Interorganizational Relationships; Nonprofit Organizations

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2010.523605

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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