Interorganisational cooperation

the critical role played by communication

Elizabeth More, G. Michael Mcgrath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)


While there is a growing body of literature seeking to explain interorganisational cooperative relationships, little from a communication perspective has emerged. This paper outlines the critical role played by communication in interfirm stategic alliances evident in Australia's telecommunications sector, concentrating on relationships involving the three carriers — Telecom, Optus, and Vodafone — and their firsttier ‘partners’. The study methodology focuses on indepth interviews with key industry and government executives. A key finding was the central role played by interpersonal relationships, centred on communication embedded in a climate of trust and commitment. The paper is divided into seven sections: (1) an introduction to the area of interorganisational cooperation; (2) an outline of the Australian telecommunications industry as the focus of the empirical work reported in the paper; (3) a discussion of how to best understand interorganisational cooperation, including an outline of the strategic alliances and partnerships involved in the study; (4) debate on how best to manage such alliances; (5) characterising the central role of communication for such relationships; (6) describing perceptions of such alliances; and (7) a conclusion, including pointers to future research directions and practices in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Communication Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1997


  • communication processes
  • coordinated cooperation
  • networking
  • strategic alliance
  • trust

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