Responding to complexity: A systems approach to strategy and interorganizational networks in the context of third sector organizations

Ana Madureira Simaens

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

1 Citation (Scopus)
618 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Third sector organizations (TSOs), particularly those providing social services, operate in arenas of policy, practice, and need, where there is a high degree of complexity arising from multiple sources. Not only are the problems addressed by TSOs often connected at the level of the clients or communities they serve, but TSOs are also subject to various institutional logics; and their strategies, interests, goals, and actions interact with those of other organizations in the field. The literature on complexity suggests that interorganizational networks can constitute an appropriate organizational response to different types of complexity. Indeed, the activities of TSOs are developed in a system of increasingly networked organizations from both the public and the private sectors. This dissertation discusses the implications of such complexity and interorganizational network responses for strategy making by TSOs. A theoretical chapter revisits the literature on strategic management in TSOs, and discusses the different approaches to strategy adopted by these organizations in the context of complexity. This is followed by three empirical studies in the context of third sector organizations in Portugal and the networks within which they operate. Findings from these studies provide support for the adequateness of a systems approach to strategy and interorganizational networks in the context of third sector organizations.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Roome, Nigel, Promotor
  • Noorderhaven, Niels, Promotor
Award date11 Sep 2015
Place of PublicationTilburg
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789056684525
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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