How Managers Respond to Paradoxical Control-Trust Dynamics in Interorganizational Relationships over Time: A Constitutive Approach

Jane Bjørn Vedel*, Joana Geraldi

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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Control-trust dynamics are fundamental to organizational life, but managers struggle to balance them because these dynamics draw on opposing mechanisms. Past research has mainly assumed that substitution and complementarity constitute key control-trust dynamics, which has limited scholars' understanding of why these dynamics are difficult to balance and how managers deal with them over time. We explore managers' responses to paradoxical control-trust dynamics. We conducted a longitudinal case study of how managers in a pharmaceutical company dealt with these dynamics in an interorganizational relationship with a university and a biotech firm. Our findings show (a) a new category of response to control-trust dynamics beyond substitution and complementarity (the More-Than), (b) three new enacted responses beyond balancing (paradoxical thinking, fulfilling promises, and transcending), and (c) a governance path that managers' responses evolve over time. Our findings suggest that managers' responses to paradoxical control-trust dynamics ensure the performance and endurance of interorganizational relationships.
TidsskriftJournal of Management Studies
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)2060-2090
Antal sider31
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 17 June 2022.


  • Constitutive approach
  • Control-trust dynamics
  • Governance path
  • Paradoxes
  • Managerial actions
  • Pharmaceutical industry