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A chain of gold? A comparative study on intermediaries, trust and control in complex global aid chains
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we aim for a better understanding of the roles of intermediaries in complex and uncertain contexts. The quest for faith and certainty is constantly pressing the actors in the politicized global field of development aid. Operating on the taxpayers’ money and faced with conditions which render knowledge of previous results and prediction of future results a real challenge, what do they do? To what extent and how are results extrapolated from the use of organizational structures and management technologies? To what extent and how are results rather extrapolated from interpersonal and interorganizational trust? How are the two related? We explore these research questions empirically in a comparative study of two “aid chains” consisting of numerous organizations interlinked in the coordination and operations of aid projects (in this case aimed for capacity building in unions and universities in the global south). Intermediaries are often criticized for adding “unnecessary” transaction costs to aid projects. Based on our preliminary findings, we suggest that the understanding of the intermediary and its roles should be reconsidered. Analyzing the messiness and dynamics of how intermediaries handle trust and control opens up for a more nuanced understanding, not only of the roles played by intermediaries but also of how complex systems are coordinated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
development aid, trust, intermediaries
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177985OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177985DiVA, id: diva2:1385639
Conference
Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations, EGOS, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, July 4-6, 2019
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-05623Available from: 2020-01-15 Created: 2020-01-15 Last updated: 2020-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Alexius, SusannaVähämäki, Janet
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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