How Boundary Organizations Facilitate Collaboration Across Diverse Communities
Perkmann, M (2016): How boundary organizations facilitate collaboration across diverse communities. In: Fredrik Tell, Christian Berggren, Stefano Brusoni and Andrew Van de Ven (eds): Managing Knowledge Integration Across Boundaries. Oxford University Press, pages 155-170.
24 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2016 Last revised: 16 Mar 2018
Date Written: October 31, 2015
Successful integration of dispersed knowledge often requires collaboration between members of different communities. This poses challenges due to the social boundaries that separate communities. In this chapter, I explore how specially designed boundary organizations can facilitate cooperation across social boundaries and, thereby, support knowledge integration. I present an inductive study of the Structural Genomics Consortium, a boundary organization operating at the interface between academia and industry. The findings suggest that the boundary organization enabled cooperation by intervening both structurally and cognitively. Structurally, it managed and maintained the social boundary between academia and industry, thereby reducing the potential for conflict and allowing for multilateral decision-making. Cognitively, it created a cosmopolitan interpretive scheme that appealed to participants from diverse settings and maintained their motivation. Compared to previous research on boundary organizations that has focused on their structural interventions, we stress that establishing a cognitive scheme broad enough to align with multiple communities is important for facilitating lasting cooperation across social boundaries.
Keywords: Boundary Organizations, University-industry relations, Open science
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