1st Edition

Boundary-Spanning in Organizations Network, Influence and Conflict

Edited By Janice Langan Fox, Cary Cooper Copyright 2014
    376 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    386 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    In more recent times, the essence of the gatekeeper's role has moved to the 'boundary spanner' - a systems thinker who understands the specific needs and interests of the organization and whose greatest asset is their ability to move across and through the formal and informal features of the modern organization.

    There are many types of boundaries associated with an organization, for example, horizontal, (function and expertise), vertical (status, hierarchy), geographic, demographic, and stakeholder. Boundaries are "the defining characteristic of organizations and, boundary roles are the link between the environment and the organization" (Aldrich & Herker, 1977) with functions crucial to the effectiveness and success of the organization.

    Despite being a critical success factor for an organization, beginning in the 1970s, the term - 'boundary spanning' has had an intermittent research history: there has been no systematic body of research that has evolved over time. This book aims to invigorate, excite, and expand the literature on boundary spanning in a diverse range of disciplines such as sociology, organizational psychology, management, medicine, defence, health, social work, and community services. The book serves as the first collection of reviews on boundary spanning in organizations.

    Part 1. Individuals and Concepts  1. Boundary Crossings of Out-of-Field Teachers: Locating Learning Possibilities amid Disruption Linda Hobbs  2. Boundary Objects in Boundary Spanning Jacob D Vakkayil  3. From Individual to Collective Boundary Spanning: Knowledge Outcomes from Recombinative Actions Preeta M. Banerjee and Rafael A. Corredoira Part 2. Groups and Teams  4. Framing Wicked Problems in Enterprise-System Innovation Project Groups Susan Gasson  5. Towards a Conceptualization of Inter-Team Boundary Activities: Identifying Intra- and Inter-Team Contextual Facilitators Anit Somech and Anat Drach-Zahavy   6. Difficulties in Organizing Boundary Spanning Activities of Inter- Organizational Teams Thomas Stephen Calvard  7. Boundary Spanning to Address Indigenous Disadvantage in Australia Fiona Buick  8. Conspiring for the ‘Common Good’: Collusion and Spanning Boundaries in Organizations Janice Langan-Fox, Sharon Grant, and Vikas Anand  Part 3. Management  9. The Complexities of School Leadership: Many Boundaries to Cross Philip Riley 10. Boundary Spanning Leadership in an Interdependent World Charles J. Palus, Donna L. Chrobot-Mason, and Kristin L. Cullen  11. Boundary Spanning as enacted in Three Organizational Functions: New Venture Management, Project Management, and Product Management David Wilemon  Part 4. Organizations  12. Trusting across Boundaries Frens Kroeger and Reinhard Bachmann  13. A Field-of-Practice view of Boundary Spanning in and across Organizations: Transactive and Transformative Boundary Spanning Practices Natalia Levina and Emmanuelle Vaast  14. Hospital Culture and Infection Control: Acceptance, Compliance and Complications across Boundaries Peter N. Rosenweg and Janice Langan-Fox  15. The Role of Organizational Controls and Boundary Spanning in Software Development Outsourcing: Implications for Project Performance Anandasivam Gopal and Sanjay Gosain


    Janice Langan-Fox is Professor of Management at Swinburne University of Technology. She started her career in industry where she worked for 10 years in manufacturing, shipping, distribution, travel and law, prior to entering academia as a Lecturer at RMIT University teaching organizational behaviour. In 2007, she was made an Honorary Principal Fellow by the Psychology Department, The University of Melbourne. Janice’s research spans several disciplines: psychology, management, health, and human factors.

    Cary L. Cooper is Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster Management School. He is currently Founding Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Stress & Health.  Professor Cooper is also the President of the Institute of Welfare, President of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, President of RELATE, a national Ambassador of The Samaritans, and a Patron of the Anxiety UK.

    "Given the importance to university-community engagement of boundary spanners, their boundary spanning activities, and the infrastructure necessary to support their work, further elaboration of the frameworks, concepts, and practices discussed in Boundary- Spanning in Organizations: Network, Influence, and Conflict for the engagement context is essential. This book is a good place to begin that work."

    Miles McNall, Michigan State University, US


    "The forte of the book is in its substantial coverage of the literature on boundary spanning that has come before it {...} this book is easily recommended as a primary review of boundary spanning in the public space."

    Christopher L. Atkinson, University of West Florida, USA