Chapter 3: Combined bureaucracy and collegiality in co-constitution of organizations and their environment
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Multilevel activation in this stratigraphy redefines coopetition but is heavily determined by “the environment” of the organization. Chapter 3 revisits the classical theory of the rapport between organization and environment using analyses of multilevel networks reaching across organizational boundaries. These analyses combine interindividual, interorganizational and affiliation networks to model how specific interindividual relational configurations help manage conflicts at interorganizational levels; or where the little fish can catch up with the big fish in the big ponds over time. An empirical example of multilevel networks in science identifies how multilevel relational infrastructures transform cut-throat rivalry into manageable coopetition among peers. Derived concepts such as “dual alters”, “extended opportunity structures” or “multilevel Matthew effects” add to current approaches of competitive advantage and coopetitive success in innovation. This leads to the contextualization of multilevel networks and the study of organized mobility and relational turnover as their social determinants, using the metaphor of the multilevel spinning top (multispin). Issues of unequal distribution of “synchronization costs” in these dynamics also emerge as characterizing multilevel activation in such contexts.

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