Inter‐organizational Power

Chris Huxham and Nic Beech

in The Oxford Handbook of Inter-Organizational Relations

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199282944
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Inter‐organizational Power

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  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Business Strategy



Researchers view the significance of power in a variety of ways. Some see this as vested in organizations' need for control in their relationships with others. Others regard power — the power to achieve ends more effectively through joint action — as an important positive outcome from a productive relationship between organizations. For a third group, the significance of power is embodied in the term ‘empowerment’. The perspectives on power in the inter-organizational relationship (IOR) literature also vary across many other dimensions. This article identifies, compares, and integrates views across several of these. Its overall perspective is on what research says about the operation of power in IOR settings: the processes through which things are influenced, what power is used for, and how it can be appropriated. Before introducing these dimensions, however, this article provides a brief overview of some of the IOR contexts in which power issues are raised.

Keywords: power; empowerment; organizations; research; IOR literature

Article.  10336 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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