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Forms of organizing: What is new and why?

Listed author(s):
  • Ricart, Joan E.


    (IESE Business School)

  • Sieber, Sandra


    (IESE Business School)

  • Svejenova, Silviya

    (IESE Business School)

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    This paper aims to further our understanding of new forms of organizing by asking and answering two related questions: What is new in forms of organizing? and Why is it so? It starts by examining the main forces that lead to the emergence and diffusion of new organizational arrangements, distinguishing between objective and subjective factors and pointing out the interplay between the two. Elaborating on these two groups of factors, the paper introduces two dimensions ‹flexibility and openness‹ on which a contingency analysis of new forms of organizing and a classification are built. Flexibility is associated with the question «How fast does the organization as a whole have to learn?», while openness is intended to measure the need for knowledge integration and the location of relevant knowledge. Having outlined the main trends in the development of organizational arrangements, the paper looks at some of the implications. The use of information and communication technologies, knowledge management, changes in human resource practices and social contract, and changes in management roles and careers are all seen as consequences of a new quest for openness and flexibility. All these considerations lead to the conclusion that, nowadays, changes in organizational patterns are radical, calling for a paradigm change that will facilitate, in a holistic manner, the adjustments that are needed in order to build and manage these organizations. Like any paradigm change, this requires a change in the mindset of the agents involved, especially the decision-makers.

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    Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/381.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: 14 Feb 1999
    Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0381
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    1. Edward J. Zajac & Brian R. Golden & Stephen M. Shortell, 1991. "New Organizational Forms for Enhancing Innovation: The Case of Internal Corporate Joint Ventures," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(2), pages 170-184, February.
    2. Ghemawat, Pankaj & Ricart, Joan E., 1993. "Organizational tension between static and dynamic efficiency, The," IESE Research Papers D/255, IESE Business School.
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    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

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