Understanding Organizational Boundaries in an Interorganizational Context

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Grand challenges and wickedproblems call for interorganizational collaboration strategies to understandproblem complexity and identify potential solutions. Such strategies pushforward beliefs that multiple stakeholders and societal organizationscollectively can create better and more desired futures. This conceptual paperadvances our understanding of organizational boundary in the context ofinterorganizational interaction by asking and answering: What organizationalboundaries are in an interorganizational context and what happens toorganizational boundaries when two organizations interact? Crossfertilizingboundary literature with a metaphysical debate in philosophy about the relationof contact when a boundary demarcates two entities, we identify three scenariosthat could happen to their organizational boundaries when two organizationsinteract: 1) one of the organizational boundaries dissolve into context, 2)organizational boundaries remain separate, and 3) organizational boundariesmerge into one. In addition, we propose clarifying, separating, and assemblingas three main processes to transmute different individual and subjectivecategorization of "us" and "them" from differentorganizations into a collective and objective demarcation of responsibilitiesand patterned behaviors across organizations. We discuss how our conceptualpropositions contribute to understanding and facilitating interorganizationalcollaborations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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