The dynamics of interorganizational coordination.

A. H. Van de Ven, G. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

349 Scopus citations


A theory was developed on the creation, growth, and decline of relationships among organizations and was tested, using a longitudinal study of 95 dyadic relationships among child care and health organizations in Texas. Using LISREL V, the test of the theory showed that substantial revision of the model was required to explain the data adequately. When the model was revised, important new patterns were revealed in the development of interorganizational relationships over time: (1) Perceptions of dependence on others for resources spurs the development of interorganizational relationships. Resource dependence is a powerful direct determinant of communications, resource transactions, and consensus; (2) The growth of interorganizational relationships is fostered by frequent communications to formalize the relationship and build consensus about the terms of the relationship among the parties involved; (3) Monetary transactions and client referrals entail different patterns of coordination; and (4) Consensus among parties in an interorganizational relationship is both a positive outcome of initial resource dependence and communications and has a negative influence on subsequent perceptions of resource dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-621
Number of pages24
JournalAdministrative science quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1984


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