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Paper info: Relationship Enablers of Managerial Social Networks


Relationship Enablers of Managerial Social Networks


Carla Costa,
Joao Proenca
University of Porto
Joao Proenca and Teresa Proença

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Cape Town in 2016.


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This paper focuses the development of relationships and networks with social purposes and discusses the main inducing factors contributing to networks and relationships’ development between public authorities and social institutions. The paper presents a case study research about ‘Matosinhos Social Network’, a Portuguese legal artefact managed as a social administration program that encourages public sector organizations, non-profit organizations and other entities to join forces to prevent, reduce or eradicate poverty, social exclusion and promote local social development, through collaborative relationships. The IMP Group literature, including the ARA model, were mobilized to analyse and understand the nature, the substance and the dynamics of social networks focusing on the artefact ‘Matosinhos Social Network’, which can be seen as an illustrative and rich case study. The analysis shows how social actors can share resources and develop activities and services to perform their social intervention policies. Moreover, the research highlights the substance of the relationships developed in this social artefact network as complex in nature, stable, long lasting and supported by relevant interdependencies between the actors involved, their knowledge, resources and activities similarly to industrial and business emergent networks identified by IMP literature. The paper put forward the following propositions: (1) Social exchange, collective action and cooperation facilitates trust relationships, mutual commitment between social actors and contributes to the mobilization of a managed artefact network; (2) Competent and skilled individuals through decentralized and empowered organizations in managed networks, improve decision making and the value of the relationships perceived by the actors, assuming a dominant role in managing in the network