Making Strategic Networks Pluralistic Neighborhoods
The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management, Vol. 9 , No. 2, pp. 114-128, 2009
Posted: 4 Jan 2011
Date Written: 2009
The relationships in any socio-structural arrangements are probable to last long if driven by trust (not deterrence) and having power symmetry is a necessary if not the sufficient condition for culmination of trust in strategic networks. But in very fewer instances the organizations are embedded following this pattern. Usually there exists some power asymmetry and the actors enjoying prominent positions tend to leverage this prominence given significant range and brokerage potential is there. When such actors manage to appropriate larger share of the pie beyond their equitable share, it creates a state of discomfort in the power recessive actors. Consequently such players begin to distrust the partner(s) for this display of opportunistic behavior and are negatively reinforced to contribute in the successive cooperation cycles. With opportunism at the center-piece, prominent actors in strategic networks are more prone to engage in such opportunistic pursuits to maximize their self-interests. To transform such networks into pluralistic neighborhoods is a challenging task. Pluralism in strategic networks (as applied in this paper’s context) acknowledges diversity of partners’ interests and seeks to ensure higher levels of social, economic and political egalitarianism where the partners equitably benefit from their contributions to arrive at win-win solutions to their economic and social problems, and ultimately end-up in attaining a state which leaves each partner at least as better-off (in social, economic, and political sense) as they were before becoming a part of that structural arrangement. From a survey of the literature encompassing strategic behavior theory, game theory, relational exchange theory, theory of networks, contract theory, agency theory, transaction cost economics, general systems theory, property rights theory and group theory, the authors have identified/described a number of characteristic of pluralistic networks.
Keywords: Pluralism, Strategic Networks, Relational Governance, Inter-Organizational Trust
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