According to Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, (2003, p. ii) “Networks are valuable tools that can be used to contribute to the accomplishment of a wide range of objectives, and there are specific contexts where network activity is particularly well suited.”
Inter-organizational network means a group of organizations that involve in exchanging and sharing of different resources and their capabilities in order to achieve same strategic purpose.
Leadership in inter-organizational networks has been addressed in a variety of disciplines, such as interpersonal networks (e.g. Granovetter 1973), intra-organizational networks (e.g. Hedlund 1986), and alliances (e.g. Reuer et al. 2002).
It is also important to highlight that leadership in inter-organizational networks differs significantly from leadership in individual organizations in that networks cannot direct the planned endeavours of other network organizations via fiat (Williamson 1975; Podolny and Page 1998).
Benefits and Limitations of Inter-organizational network
- Shared risk: The ability to distribute or share risks fosters creativity and innovation by reducing risk to any one organization.
- Advocacy: Able to exert more pressure due to greater political clout and community reach resulting from greater numbers and diversity of network members.
- Efficiency: More efficient use of resources and be able to achieve economies of scale.
- Innovation: Networks are enabling structures that create opportunities for innovation, which is closely connected to learning.
- Achieving consensus on the network purpose and goals. Everyone in the organization or the particular group needs to share a clear common goal and be willing to work together towards it.
- In the work place culture clash occurs when different cultural values and beliefs clash.
- Loss of autonomy which means hardship which is neither satisfying nor meaningful.
Leadership in Inter-organizational network
Dawes & Pardo argued that overall project leaders are a critical factor in the success of collaborative initiatives. While according to Landsbergen & Wolken overall project leaders provide overarching support and sponsorship, informal leaders work at the operational level to get projects going.
(Sayogo, Gil-Garcia, & Pardo, 2016) Their study shows
that both direct and indirect influence of leadership on the success of
inter-organizational information sharing and integration.
· Hypothesis 1: Involvement of executives positively and directly influences the success of inter-organizational information sharing and integration.
· Hypothesis 2: The positive impact of executive involvement to the success of inter-organizational information sharing and integration is mediated by the roles of informal leaders.
· Hypothesis 3: The inconsiderate conducts in exercising formal authority influences the success of inter-organizational information sharing and integration directly and negatively.
· Hypothesis 4: The role of informal leaders directly and positively influences the success of inter-organizational information sharing and integration.
· Hypothesis 5: The impact of informal leaders to the success of inter-organizational information sharing and integration is mediated by the conduct in exercising formal authority.
Data collection and Analysis techniques
In the research article provided by
(Sayogo, Gil-Garcia, & Pardo, 2016) the analyses of data
was from a national survey conducted by the Center for Technology in Government
(CTG) in April 2008. The original data set consists of 173 responses with
demographic distribution as shown in Table 1. But after studying the data
provided the analysis was shortened to 158-160 respondents and those 7-8% were
dropped from the survey because of the high level of missing values.
According to the above table majority of the respondents which is a 56% work for local agency. 29% of them work for state agencies and very few in the other form of work groups. Among the respondents 35% were executives and 35% were program managers, 12% of them were IT managers and 10% were program staff but only 1 of them were an IT staff. Now according to the table male (58%) respondents were higher than female (42%) respondents. When considering the data collected majority of the respondents have experience in their work field. 45% of them have 6 - 15 years of experience, 39% have 1 – 5 years of experience, 10% have 16 – 25 years, 3% of them have the highest of 25 years of experience and there were 3% newly employed who does not have any experience.
Table 2. Measurement of success
The above table represents the success of a collaborative project from the perspective of different stakeholders. The respondents were categorized differently. According to the results 69% of them agreed to great extent, 25% of the agreed to a certain degree that the project was a success as a whole. But 2% of them were not sure and other 5% didn’t agree that it was a success. When asked of the project met its stated policy 67% of them agreed to a great extent and 26% of the agreed to a certain degree. However the results of technology and organization differs. But in each category majority of the respondents agreed to a great extent that the project was a success technologically and organizationally. It is showing that 15% of the respondents does not agree at all that the inter-organizational or collaborative projects are cost saving.
According to the results of the study the significant role of informal leaders show the success of a project that is managed in collaborative ways including inter-organizational networks. Majority of the positive responses indicates the direct influence of the informal leader’s success is very strong. On the other hand negative responses shows the indirect influence. But the decreased number of negative effect of participant misuse of formal authority decreases the likelihood of a project’s failure and increases the likelihood of success.
Sayogo, D. S., Gil-Garcia, J. R., & Pardo, T. A. (2016). Modeling the Roles of Leadership for Inter-organizational Information Sharing and Integration Success. pp. 1- 8