Interorganizational Networks

By: Wayne Baker, Robert R. Faulkner

Baker, W. E., & Faulkner, R. R. (2017). Interorganizational Networks. The Blackwell Companion to Organizations, 520-540. Doi:


Interorganizational networks (ION) are a venerable subject in sociology and organizational theory. Recently, however, the concept of the “network” has become even more popular, as pundits, management consultants, and organizational theorists promote the “network” as the interorganizational form of the future and even the emerging form of society. This popularity has not brought clarity to a subject that is already broad and eclectic. For example, the “network organization” means many things to many people, as discusses. Different researchers examine different aspects of the network organization, and different consultants put different features of it into practice. Given the broad and fragmented field of interorganizational networks our goal in this chapter is sensemaking: We propose a way to structure this field in a way that imposes order on it, captures contemporary debates and issues, highlights unanswered questions, and points to some new and emerging directions for future research.