Metzger, F.M. / Oberg, A. / Armbruester, T.: Coordinated Interorganizational Networks: Empirical Results on Structures, Identities, and their Contingencies. Presented at the 26th Colloquium of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), July 3 2010, Lisbon, Portugal.
Coordinated interorganizational networks occur in a variety of forms—for instance as joint ventures, focal networks, or consortia. Typically, these forms are considered as very different in kind, and theories have arisen to conceptualize each of them separately. In this paper, we try another, at first sight more traditional approach: We take an empirical look at coordinated interorganizational networks as reactions to and results of environmental conditions. In other words, we apply the tools of contingency theory to networks (rather than to organizations as was often conducted in the 1960s and 1970s) and develop hypotheses about the relationships between both environmental and identity-related conditions on the one hand and structural aspects of coordinated networks on the other. We test these hypotheses with a sample of 232 coordinated networks in Germany, for which we collected data on identity of networks, network structure, and environmental conditions. We discuss the results not only in contingency terms, but also in terms of embeddedness theory and new institutionalism.