MEANINGFUL OR MEANINGLESS? THE RELEVANCE OF INFORMAL RELATIONSHIPS - A case study of the perceived importance of relationship enablers between the United Nations and the European Union

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The special meaning of the UN-EU relations characterized not only by symbolic significance but also in terms of legitimization and especially growing financial importance, complemented by the findings of previous literature on business organizations underscoring the value of informal relationships, led me devote this thesis to the perceived importance of social capital in the UN-EU relations. In line with existing theories of social capital which argue that the interpersonal side of relationships can lead to advantages, pointing at the same time to some favorable conditions such as trust, obligations and expectations, and relational embeddedness that need to be fulfilled for a relationship to become meaningful, this study aims to analyze the perceptions of the individuals involved in the informal relationships between the UN and the EU on the relevance of these relational social capital conditions. Involving individuals, the research justifies the use of a qualitative method used to obtain in depth descriptions of their perceptions through fourteen semi-structured interviews carried over a period of four months. While employing abductive reasoning the objective has been develop a theoretical hypothesis which can be further researched in other studies. The key findings of the study highlight the importance of informal relationships in fostering cooperation and advantages otherwise not attainable. While shedding light on a yet understudied topic of the literature, the study contributes to the existing body of theoretical knowledge by incorporating the perspectives of practitioners into the international inter organizational relations literature, serving also as a practical resource for leaders in UN organizations.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)