Can Lonely Riders Become Three Musketeers? Creating Effective Joint Operations among Farmers

Vidar Schei, Bjørn G. Hansen, Marcus O. Selart


Individuals as well as organizations often need to work together to achieve economies of scale and scope.
However, collaboration can be a challenge, and one example in which the potential benefit of cooperation has
been difficult to realize are joint operations within the Norwegian farming industry. Thus, the purpose of this
article is to illuminate why some of these joint operations fail while others prevail. We conducted in-depth
interviews and gathered performance data in 10 joint farming operations, with our results revealing systematic
patterns; those operations which had the highest level of performance and satisfaction had low levels of conflicts,
whereas the others had higher level of conflicts. For the least successful operations, the conflicts were
predominantly relational and typically approached with contention. Furthermore, the conflict patterns were
systematically linked to team design and team planning, in which a balance and stability between partners, as
well as a careful consideration of task issues and team issues, seem to be key variables.

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