Understanding boundary-spanning activities such as interorganizational alliances and professional/organizational integration requires clarity about what boundaries are being spanned and how they were constructed. We approach this goal by drawing on social identity theory and institutional theory to develop a process model, whereby inward- and outward-directed networking activities combine to build the social boundaries marking exclusive membership and proprietary domain. Four stages in the process are demonstrated, using two longitudinal case studies of emerging professions: the Jewish legal profession in Israel and physician executives in the USA. Despite the cases' contextual differences, analysis of networking activities supports propositions based on the model.
- Social boundaries