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Paper info: From Interaction-based Approach to Dialectical Confrontation:Some Theoretical Proposals for Understanding the Consistency ofDissentient Interorganisational Relationships

Title


From Interaction-based Approach to Dialectical Confrontation:Some Theoretical Proposals for Understanding the Consistency ofDissentient Interorganisational Relationships

Authors


Markku Nikkanen

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.

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Abstract


The main objective of this conceptual study is to describe an idea of dialectical approach forunderstanding the conformities of interorganisational behaviour, by employing a way of thinking inwhich adversarial, dissensual and consensual features in interorganisational relationships andsubsequent processes are sharply contrasted. It is proposed that a network as a set of diverserelationships can be characterised by dialectical means, exposing the opposite-driving dimensions. Inthe research work three approaches to discuss relationships (managerial, network-based anddialectical) are presented and compared. It is assumed that dialectical approach (despite of itsdualistic nature and polarising concepts) can extend the analytical scope by introducing newconceptual vocabulary and by grasping displeasing issues, which are often neglected in relationshipstudies. From the empirical point of view, this requires sensitive methods to face the subconsciouselements of the relationships, which are influenced by interpersonal contacts. To avoid analyticalnarrow-mindness, besides discussing the positive sides of a relationship (e.g. trust and commitment,open communication and mutual respect in focus), the researcher should not only consider theproblems of one particular relationship (lack of communication, competition and dispersed interests)but also pay proper attention to the extreme features as well (e.g. destruction and annihilation, angerand hate, urge to revenge), which affect the way the actors truly perceive the relationships.