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From Walls to Webs:Cooperation and Coordination in Kosovo and Afghanistan


We know little about how international and local organizations with diverse structures and cultures ? militaries, NGOs, UN agencies, local organizations - function in international interventions and how they are managing to cooperate together (United Nations Mission in Kosovo UNMIK- and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan -UNAMA-). This project contends that we can understand each mission as comprising an over arching network organization - where organizations come together to form a temporary organization around a common mission and disband once that goal has been achieved. New information and communication technologies make this cooperation possible. Network organizations are increasingly common in business but not in the non-profit sector. In particular, network organizations comprising organizations as diverse as militaries and NGOs have not been studied. The state of the art research on network organizations and on the role of information and communication technologies in network organizations has been conducted in and on business organizations. This research contends that economic sociology and organizational theory are very useful for researching the subject of cooperation in international interventions, as such international interventions share many of the concerns and issues of cooperation and coordination that are faced by economic organizations in the global networked marketplace.
The project uses network analysis to research cooperation in the missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan - in each case to discover whether the actual routes of communication and coordination match the network organizational design. It also aims to discover what role information and communication technologies play in facilitating and obstructing cooperation and coordination. Thirdly, it examines the factors that produce an institutional basis for the network organization that is distinct from the constituent hierarchical organizations institutional cultures.

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