Inter-Organization Systems (WiSe 2021/22)








Tag Zeit Häufigkeit Datum Raum
Dienstag 16:00- 18:00 Uhr wöchentlich 12.10.2021- 01.02.2022 Leonardo-Campus 18, LEO 18.3
Dienstag 18:00- 20:00 Uhr wöchentlich 12.10.2021- 01.02.2022 Leonardo-Campus 18, LEO 18.3
Mittwoch 08:00- 10:00 Uhr wöchentlich 13.10.2021- 02.02.2022 Leonardo-Campus 18, LEO 18.3


Please, note that all relevant information regarding this course (registration, dates, structure, literature) are available in LearnWeb.

Over the centuries diverse institutions and modes of economic governance have emerged: hierarchies and markets, associations and coalitions, commons, cooperatives, networks, alliances and clubs, to name just a few. Technology has facilitated the development of new or adapted governance modes, such as electronic markets, platforms and multi-sided markets, ecosystems, commons based peer to peer production, or virtual organizations.

The course compares and contrasts a few of these governance modes of interorganizational relations from an economic, strategic, organizational and technical perspective. Theoretical concepts will be introduced and used to examine cases of network arrangements across different industries. Participants will become familiar with major streams of literature (theories and methods) about corporate networks, interorganizational systems and infrastructures. 

Exemplary questions that will be addressed:

  • What is the strategic logic of airline alliances?
  • What are platforms and business ecosystems?
  • Why are blockchains governed differently than Free and Open Software (FOSS)?
  • How has technology enabled commons-based peer production?

The format of the course is a combination of reading, thinking, writing, discussing, and listening. Each week, academic papers will be discussed and applied to a case. Sessions typically will start with a student presentation and continue with a class discussion and a lecture.

The course is thus also an exercise in reading academic papers:

  • respectfully (”standing on the shoulders of giants”) and critically,
  • joint sense making: what is the key contribution, the claim of the authors
  • recognizing and acknowledging different genre of writing (empirical, conceptual), reflecting different methods and research designs, different outlets.

Participants are expected to come to class having read the paper and assigned background reading materials, be prepared to discuss the major themes addressed by the paper and to debate their application to the study of networks. Learning success will therefore depend on your motivation, your initiative, your preparation for class, and your participation during class.

For each session (starting week 2) one (or more) group will be assigned to introduce the reading and to write a summary after the session, which also captures the discussion. Each group is expected to submit one or more questions and comments for each session.


The course will be held Tuesdays, 16-20h, from Oct. 12 – Nov. 23. While the first session on Oct. 12 will be held in presence and made available as a recording, the remaining sessions will be held online (Zoom). The exact timing of the written exam (during the examination week prior to XMas 2021) will be announced in due course.


Each session will be divided into three parts with a brief break in between:

(1)    25 min Student presentation and related Q&A,

(2)    25 min lecture complementing the student presentation,

(3)    25 min Q&A addressing a selection of submitted questions and comments.


  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Klein (verantwortlich)