Boundary-Spanning in Organizations: Network, Influence and Conflict

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Janice Langan Fox, Cary Cooper
Routledge, Nov 12, 2013 - Business & Economics - 366 pages

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.


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PART I Individuals and Concepts
PART II Groups and Teams
PART III Management
PART IV Organizations

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About the author (2013)

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.

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