What is it about?

This paper makes a theoretical innovation by integrating two key principles – mutual forbearance and the principle of congruity – into one general process model. It examines the micro-mechanisms underlying the formation of a mutual-forbearance agreement and explicates the role of time and of individual actions.

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Why is it important?

We further understanding of the process of cooperation building by drawing a parallel between early stages of the formation process of mutual forbearance and cooperation, and argue that mutual forbearance may, under certain conditions, lead to long-term cooperation or, if mismanaged, completely smother any chances of it. A prospective agreement may be put at risk when potential contributions are evaluated differently by each party and no action to mitigate the consequences is taken; even more so in a mutual-forbearance context when the parties can only observe their counterparts’ actions through the market. Our model takes into account the micro-mechanisms associated with the time between the actions of one entity/individual (e.g. the top manager) and the reaction of another entity/individual, the boundary conditions of the background to those actions and the alternative actions available during this time.

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This page is a summary of: Understanding the Processes Underlying Inter‐firm Collaboration: Mutual Forbearance and the Principle of Congruity, British Journal of Management, January 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12463.
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