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To which we belong: understanding the role of tradition in interorganizational relations

Hibbert, Paul and McQuade, Aidan (2005) To which we belong: understanding the role of tradition in interorganizational relations. M@n@gement, 8 (4). pp. 73-88. ISSN 1286-4892

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Abstract

This article explores tradition in the context of collaboration. We take a view of tradition as rooted in reference groups, which are conceptually distinct from membership groups. Through research in two particular collaborations supporting technology business development in the UK, we find that tradition, as a potential cause of failure or inertia, is inter-organizationally significant. We argue that insight into the nature of tradition - in particular its dynamic interplay with culture in the formation of identity - allows participants to develop some useful language that supports more effective reflective practice in collaboration.