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Orchestrating Inter-Organizational Networks to Deliver Megaprojects

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jas KalraORCiD


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Inter-organizational networks have been of increasing interest to management scholars with studies exploring network evolution and structure. More recently, research has begun to consider the role of a network orchestrator in setting up inter-organizational networks. However, prior research has largely neglected to examine the role of network orchestrator in development, structure, and governance of network. Our study addresses this gap by examining in detail the drivers and activities behind the development, structure, and governance of inter-organizational networks. We empirically focus on the activities and processes through which a large, multinational energy company orchestrates inter-organizational networks in a megaproject. These networks are vital in delivering services for a $25 billion nuclear power plant in the UK. More specifically, we analyze two inter-organizational networks, collecting rich primary and secondary dataset including interviews, site visits, meeting observations, as well as company and government documents. Findings show that in the process of setting up inter-organizational networks, the network orchestrator encounters three types of complexities: vertical, horizontal, and task. These complexities influence the network orchestrator’s decisions pertaining to the network development, structure, and governance. Moreover, by focusing on the intentional development of network and coordinating its activities, the study contributes to the emerging research on network orchestration. This study offers one of the first empirical studies to unpack key activities of a network orchestrator (in collaboration with network members) in setting up inter-organizational networks. We found that while decisions pertaining to the development and structure of the network ultimately arrived at the same final decision, the governance mode decisions varied across the investigated cases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kalra J, Roehrich JK, Squire B, Davies AC

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Academy of Management Proceedings

Year of Conference: 2019

Online publication date: 09/08/2019

Acceptance date: 09/03/2019

ISSN: 0065-0668

Publisher: Academy of Management


DOI: 10.5465/AMBPP.2019.13226abstract

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 21516561