Theme

Due to broad changes in the market and institutional environment, contemporary organizations increasingly use postbureaucratic modes of organizing to produce more effective products and services. New modes of organizing comprise, for example, cross-functional innovation projects, cross-occupational teams in professional organizations, and firm collaborations with competitors, stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations. As organizations increasingly use these different modes of organizing, ability to collaborate across functional, organizational, and institutional boundaries becomes an important determinant of performance of involved actors and the pursuit of common good.

Yet, increasing collaboration across boundaries sets a challenge for students of organization, management, and strategy. As studies show that many collaborations across boundaries fail to generate innovative, synergistic solutions or balance the interests of different parties involved, it would be important to know more about how and when actors with different interests, values, and/or institutional backgrounds can collaborate and engage in collective action. The ABRI Summer School 2017 therefore aims to bring together researchers who share an interest in generating knowledge about how and when actors with different interests, values, and/or institutional backgrounds can successfully collaborate. Our goal is to better understand theoretical constructs and processes explaining successful collaboration across boundaries.

As collaboration is a topic that has been addressed in several disciplines of social sciences, albeit in different ways, we purposefully immerse ourselves in various literatures that have examined collaboration across boundaries. In so doing, we provide students most up-to-date view on collaboration across boundaries. We will discuss contemporary research examining interorganizational collaboration, collaboration across functions and occupations during creative projects, and collaboration across institutional boundaries.

We organize a summer school on this theme because we believe that focusing on antecedents, processes, and outcomes of cross-boundary collaboration provides an opportunity to generate interesting and relevant research questions and empirical studies that look beyond existing theoretical perspectives. As we discuss the various constructs that contemporary organization, management, and strategy scholarship uses to conceptualize collaboration, we also learn about diversity of methods and research designs used to study collaboration at different levels of analysis and over time.