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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Social psychology is ‘the scientific investigation of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others’. The social psychology of intergroup relations is concerned with understanding the determinants of conflict between groups and concomitant processes. This article discusses the dynamics of conflict and collaboration between multiple parties from a psychological perspective. First, it provides an overview of how social psychologists have traditionally studied relations between groups and the theories that have been formulated to understand their dynamics. Then it discusses the relevance of these social psychological theories for understanding the dynamics of complex inter-organizational relations and point to their weaknesses. It ends with a call to develop a comprehensive theory of the psychological dynamics of inter-organizational conflict and collaboration and to engage in multidisciplinary research.

Keywords: social psychology, conflict, collaboration, inter-organizational relations, psychological dynamics

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