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

Jane Bjørn Vedel*, Joana Geraldi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

53 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2060-2090
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 17 June 2022.


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

Cite this