Inter-organisational collaborations: interdependencies and underlying power dynamics.

Salman Ahmad, Honglan Yu, Roshan Boojihawon , Pavlos Dimitratos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


While the existing scholarship provides valuable insights on inter-organizational collaborations, there appears to be a significant gap in the literature about underlying power dynamics that determine the nature of the relationship. This paper addresses this gap by providing insights into the process of interfirm cooperation from the perspective of low-power firms by combining resource dependency theory (RDT) with bargaining theory. Through an analysis of dyadic interactions between thirteen low-power firms and their four high-power counterparts, the study investigates how low-power firms manage their dependencies on high-power counterparts. It suggests that low-power firms use interfirm cooperation to build collective bargaining power that decreases their power distance from high-power counterparts. It helps low-power firms to shift from positional bargaining to interest-based bargaining. The paper contributes by highlighting underlying power dynamics in interfirm cooperation from the perspective of low-power firms. It also implies that low-power firms do not need to reduce their dependence on their counterparts to achieve the balance of power. They rather can simultaneously increase their power and dependence on their counterparts, which seems to contradict the fundamental power dependence argument of RDT. The paper also enriches the bargaining theory by manifesting the process for low-power firms to achieve interest-based bargaining
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Academy of Management Annual Conference
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
ISBN (Electronic)9780995641334
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventBritish Academy of Management 2020 - Online
Duration: 20 Oct 202020 Oct 2020

Academic conference

Academic conferenceBritish Academy of Management 2020
Abbreviated titleBAM 20


  • Inter-organisational collaborations
  • power dynamics
  • interdependencies


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