IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A theory of the temporary organization


  • Lundin, Rolf A.
  • Söderholm, Anders


The idea of the firm as an eternal entity possibly came in with the era of industrialism. In any case, the practical consequences of this idea contrast sharply with many ideas about projects and temporary organizations. Mainstream organization theory is based upon the assumption that organizations are or should be permanent; theories on temporary organizational settings (e.g., projects) are much less prevalent. In this article, we address the need for a theory of temporary organizations, thus seeking to supplement traditional project management wisdom. We also suggest some components of such a theory by elaborating on certain ideas about projects. "Action", as opposed to "decision", is one such component which is central to a theory of the temporary organization. In some respects we are thus dealing with antipoles, in other respects with concepts similar to those in established mainstream organizational theory. The role of "time" in the firm is different as compared to its role in the temporary organization. The differences have several important implications and we are able to suggest a coherent outline of a theory which we believe could be useful and which also covers several important aspects of temporary organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundin, Rolf A. & Söderholm, Anders, 1995. "A theory of the temporary organization," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 437-455, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:11:y:1995:i:4:p:437-455

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:11:y:1995:i:4:p:437-455. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.