Article | Academy of Management Journal

Relational Pluralism Within and Between Organizations

by Andrew Shipilov, Ranjay Gulati, Martin Kilduff, Stan Li and Wenpin Tsai


Relational pluralism exists when actors maintain multiple kinds of relationships with one another and develop multiple identities as a result. The outcomes of relational pluralism can include greater flexibility in building network ties, more stable exchange relationships, and the ability to adopt tailored innovations. We develop a typology of relational pluralism and examine both the positive and negative features of relational pluralism inside and across organizations. We conclude with a discussion of future directions for research.

Keywords: Organizations; Identity; Relationships;


Shipilov, Andrew, Ranjay Gulati, Martin Kilduff, Stan Li, and Wenpin Tsai. "Relational Pluralism Within and Between Organizations." Academy of Management Journal 57, no. 2 (April 2014): 449–459.