Virtual Micro-Politics: Informal Tactics of Influence and Power in Inter-Organizational Networks

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Executive Summary

Although virtual organizations and networks have been studied for quite some time, there is still need for research regarding their inner dynamics and the mechanisms of leadership and governance. In this paper, the authors investigate micro-political processes - i.e. informal actions of individual actors to gain power and exert influence, which is a well-researched concept in traditional organizations - with respect to inter-organizational networks. By means of a qualitative interview study they investigated structures and strategies of power within virtual networks. Results show that micro-political tactics known from research in traditional organizations are also used in inter-organizational settings. Furthermore, they identified additional micro-political tactics specific to virtual networks.

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