The aim of the Master course Inter-organizational Relationships is to deepen the theoretical, methodological, and empirical knowledge about and the understanding of the ways organizations use inter-organizational relationships as a way to deal with complexity and environmental dynamics, which are basically the external problems of specialization, differentiation, coordination and integration. In addition, we will look at the characteristics of inter-organizational networks in different areas and with regard to different outcomes they produce. More specifically, after finishing the course students are able to:
- discuss the most important theoretical models and concepts in the field of inter-organizational studies (e.g. social capital, brokerage, closure, network management, network effectiveness);
- compare key theories in the field of inter-organizational relationships and networks. Students can differentiate between theories on antecedents and consequences of social networks, and between different levels of analyses (actor, dyad, and network level);
- choose the most appropriate theory or combination of theories given a research problem in the field of inter-organizational relationships and networks;
- discuss and apply different data collection strategies for social network analysis (e.g. nominalist vs. realist strategies) and different measures for network positions (e.g. degree centrality) and network structure (density, centralization);
- analyze network data with the most important network analytic concepts with the computer programs Visone and UCInet;
- develop basic research questions for a given data set and connect them to the appropriate theoretical and methodological backgrounds;
- evaluate practical inter-organizational phenomena and to formulate basic (policy) recommendations for governments and organizations on the basis of empirical research results in this field;
- discuss the theoretical and empirical topics of this course orally in English.
It is expected that students actively participate in the course and do the necessary preparatory work. Moreover, it is expected that they contribute to the group assignments.
Oral exam (60%); Group Presentations (20%); Network Assignment (20%). The minimum grade for the oral exam must be 6.0. If the student team fails or misses a presentation, the whole team will receive a substitute assignment.
Students who are not enrolled in the Master OS may participate in the course if they fulfill the respective requirements and if sufficient places are available. To receive permission, please contact the course coordinator.
Students have to pass all assignments/exams within this course. If one assignment is not passed the whole course with all assignments has to be retaken the following academic year. The first computerlab is a repetition and refreshment of content and skills taught in the course Relations and Networks of Organizations in the Ba OW/Premaster. Attendance is voluntary. Second computerlab is mandatory.
Course runs in the fall in the second block.
The course is divided into five parts which will deal with the different aspects of inter-organizational relations and networks: Network as a form of governance, networks as a framework to describe and measure social structure, generating social capital in and evolution of inter-organizational networks, networks in innovation, management and effectiveness of inter-organizational networks. Throughout the course, cases from different sectors will be presented, which represent a specific theoretical, methodological, or empirical inter-organizational problem. Related to the problem, students will study and discuss relevant literature which will be the basis for the oral exam at the end of the course.
Type of instructions
Lectures (8x2 hours) and Working Group (1x2 hours), 2 Computer Lab session (2x2 hours), 1 Case Day Lab (1x2 hours)
Type of exams
Oral exam (60%) and group presentations (20%), network assignment (20%)
Students are asked to read on average about 100 pages per lecture/working group in preparation for class. This literature is also mandatory for the oral exam. The literature focuses on the various aspects described in the course content section.