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Paper info: Relational conflict across networks in the advertising industry


Relational conflict across networks in the advertising industry


Charlotte McLeod, Eleanor Shaw and IanC Grant

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.


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The aim of this paper is to explore the tensions and basis for conflict which reside in relationships embedded in, and connecting advertising and other agencies involved in the process of advertising planning. Utilising a social network perspective, the paper draws from twenty two depth interviews to account for the emergence and consequences of conflict found in such relationships. Four key themes are identified covering issues of involvement intensity, role ambiguity, cultural stereotyping and finally conflicts of interest. The paper provides a valuable contrast to dyadic client  agency perspectives recognising the importance of multiple, simultaneous relationships. The findings consider the implications of tension and conflict in advertising relationships, highlighting how overt and covert actions influence perceptions of network trust. Outcomes range from collaborative tension through to intra-organisational conflict.