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Networked Intra- and Inter-Organizational Conflict and Leadership: A Case Study
Leaders are enmeshed in networks that construct, (de)escalate, and transform conflict, which may lead to intractability and leadership dismissal. There are several interpenetrating bodies of literature that demonstrate the value of studying social configurations of networks with relationship to conflict. Broad in scope and potential application, network analysis “focuses on the relationships or linkages among two or more persons, objects, or other entities” teasing out relationships, interdependence, and consequences of the social structure (Fulk & Boyd, 1991, p. 429). Relational networks have also been applied stakeholder theory research (Rowley, 1997) to better understand and predict how individual, group, and organizational stakeholders influence one another. Further research in the communicative constitution of organizing (CCO) movement have applied actor-network theory (ANT) to tease out organizing as a type of networking constituted through humans and non-humans networked communication and guided by network norms generating a social order. Developments in network analysis and actor-network theory have advanced its application to business, education, healthcare, and civil society (Belliger & Krieger, 2016), but less is known about network analysis’ application to faith-based organizations and their networks, conflict, or leadership. How do faith-based organizational networks construct conflict with leadership? This study analyzes a non-profit, faith-based organization as an exemplar of communication networks, leadership, and conflict.