Monday, October 31, 2011

Organization Theory - 29 (Inter-organizational Network)

In the last blog, we began looking at the organization in association with its environment. This is interesting since, it enables us look at the organization which is so central to our business in a larger context. In today's blog, we look at the first angle of looking at organization in context of its environment -"inter-organizational network". 

It should be by this time obvious to all the readers that any organization is a member of its environment and would definitely interact with other members in the environment. One could classify the other members in the environment as Regulatory Agencies (primarily the government arms which regulate the business environment as a whole), Customer, Partners, Competitors, Special interest groups, Suppliers, Labor Unions and so on. 
We could represent these by the following diagram:

When we as managers look at our organization with a central focus, and in some cases skip the information from its environment. A view as shown above in the diagram, an inter-organizational view could potentially impose a threat to the practicing manager! 

  1. Managers generally tend to disregard information that tends to appear as if out of the periphery of their construction of the network
  2. This approach to looking at the organization could skew the reporting by managers to most pressing and immediate concerns! Many a times affecting the long term gains!
  3. One needs to understand that, though this model gives a more balanced view of the network - it doesn’t really translate into an organizational action plan.

Read in Kannada:


  1. sir...could you please throw some light as to who/what exactly are the special interest groups mentioned as one of the members of the environment?

  2. A special Interest group could be a very simple association of practitioners in the industry or could also be a community of specialized people with a thorough knowledge in a particular area.

    These groups generally have members who, cooperate to effect or to produce solutions within their particular field, and may communicate, meet, and organize conferences. In some cases, they lobby for or against a particular issue or a range of issues.

    For an organization,these special interest groups could be both supportive or disruptive depending on the situation at hand.

    Examples of Special interest groups could be
    Linux User Group -

    There could be business related groups similar to the technology focused group.