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Abstract

In a recent issue in this journal, Lawton et al. and Spillman argue for the importance of studying trade associations, also referred to with the broader term meta-organization. They discuss why meta-organizations matter and why more research is needed on the topic. We fully concur with the authors that meta-organizations constitute an inflating, diverse, and undeniable phenomenon of collective action among organizations and that collective scholarly efforts are necessary to improve our understanding of meta-organizations in their multiplicity. In this article, we shed some light on a body of work already investigating the matter. They constitute what we call the “European School” of meta-organization. We show the relevance of this recent European work for the US–UK-oriented trade association research and aim to bridge the gap between these research traditions by proposing a common research agenda on key topics of resources, forms’ differentiation, coopetition, and their role in sustainability governance.

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... Since Brunsson's (2005, 2008) pioneer work on a theory of meta-organizations, recent calls have invited organization scholars to investigate this salient phenomenon (Ahrne, Brunsson, & Seidl, 2016;Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Spillman, 2018). Growing scholarly efforts have explored various aspects of meta-organization, from its formation and evolution (Cropper & Bor, 2018;Valente & Oliver, 2018) to its role in standardizing global value chains (Carmagnac & Carbone, 2019). ...
... Brunsson (2005, 2008) defined meta-organizations as formal organizations organizing other formal organizations. What has been called the 'European School' (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018) has emphasized the decided dimension of meta-organization: the existence of an umbrella collective with some degree of actorhood, featuring a distinctive level of at least some interconnected decision-making (see Grothe-Hammer et al., 2022). ...
... It decides on its own membership, mechanisms of hierarchy or central power, sets of rules, and systems of monitoring and sanctions. This reality may create autonomy and identity tensions between members and their meta-organization, and they may even end up competing with one another (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Ahrne and Brunsson (2008) have further argued that most meta-organizations have the form of associations. ...
Article
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In this introduction, we reemphasize some key parts of meta-organization theory and their implications for understanding meta-organizations and meta-organizing processes. We clarify what meta-organizations are and what they are not and then analyze their key purposes and activities. We then present the papers of the special issue and discuss venues for future research. Although many key contributions have been made to meta-organization theory and research, there are many more things to investigate before we know as much about meta-organizations as we know about individual-based organizations.
... The concept of MO relates to various empirical organizational forms that have been widely investigated for themselves, with or without any explicit reference to the MO concept, such as trade associations (König et al. 2012;Berkowitz and Dumez 2015;Berkowitz and Bor 2017;Lawton et al. 2018) or international organizations (Kerwer 2013;Ahrne et al. 2016a;Brankovic 2018). This diversity makes difficult the generalization of empirical results based on a specific type to all kinds of MOs. ...
... Conversely, more and more authors have recently tended to use the term MO with few or no mention of Ahrne's and Brunsson's theoretical framework (see Gulati et al. 2012;Lawton et al. 2018;Spillman 2018;Radnejad et al. 2017), leading to distinguish the ''European school'' of MO, building on Ahrne and Brunsson work, from a more US-UK-based research community having the seminal paper by Gulati et al. (2012) as their key reference (Ahrne et al. 2016b;Berkowitz and Bor 2017). As a fact, the perspective developed by Gulati et al., focused on the idea of meta-organizational design, has much more to do with the network perspective, with a specific stress on corporate networks and some other concepts such as the extended enterprise, the closed community, the open community (public forum), and the managed ecosystem models. ...
... In close connection with this, the explicit purpose of MOs is to defend the industry's interests (in the case of trade associations) or the interests of the activity sector to which they belong. More specifically, in order to meet this goal, MOs can have a wide variety of functions (Berkowitz and Bor 2017). Ahrne and Brunsson (2008) identify three general purposes for which a MO may be set up: interaction among members, collective action among members, or creation of a collective identity. ...
... Il permet de renouveler l'approche des partenariats publicsprivés. Encore peu de travaux s'intéressent aux métaorganisations en tant que contribuant au développement durable (Berkowitz et Bor, 2018) ainsi qu'à leurs ressources, notamment les mécanismes qui encouragent la résilience (Berkowitz, 2018). Nous nous intéressons ici à la capacité de résilience d'une méta-organisation dans le champ de l'alimentation durable. ...
... La notion renouvelle et élargit la compréhension des relations inter-organisationnelles, qui ont été traitées jusquelà dans leurs manifestations mais manquaient de densité théorique et conceptuelle (Cropper, Ebers, Huxham, & Ring, 2011). Malgré cet intérêt scientifique avéré, les travaux sur les caractéristiques spécifiques des méta-organisations demeurent encore limités et fragmentés (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016). L'agenda de recherche sur les méta-organisations souligne la nécessité d'étudier davantage leurs ressources (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), notamment les mécanismes qui encouragent la résilience (Berkowitz, 2018). ...
... Malgré cet intérêt scientifique avéré, les travaux sur les caractéristiques spécifiques des méta-organisations demeurent encore limités et fragmentés (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016). L'agenda de recherche sur les méta-organisations souligne la nécessité d'étudier davantage leurs ressources (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), notamment les mécanismes qui encouragent la résilience (Berkowitz, 2018). L'auteur souligne que les travaux existants sur les méta-organisations et leurs ressources organisationnelles ont davantage porté sur la responsabilité sociale d'entreprise, le changement climatique, la diffusion de pratiques managériales, que sur leur rôle dans la gouvernance de l'innovation durable. ...
Article
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Résumé Le concept de méta‐organisation (MO) est récent en sciences de gestion et fait l'objet d'une attention croissante de la part de la communauté scientifique. Il permet de renouveler l'approche des partenariats publics‐privés. Encore peu de travaux s'intéressent aux méta‐organisations en tant que contribuant au développement durable (Berkowitz et Bor, 2018) ainsi qu’à leurs ressources, notamment les mécanismes qui encouragent la résilience (Berkowitz, 2018). Nous nous intéressons ici à la capacité de résilience d'une méta‐organisation dans le champ de l'alimentation durable. La gouvernance alimentaire des territoires devient depuis quelques années un enjeu majeur. La question est récemment prise en charge par des collectifs réunissant partenaires publics et privés, généralement de type société civile, autour de l'alimentation perçue comme un commun. L’étude est qualitative et se base sur le cas d'un Conseil local de politique alimentaire : le Conseil Lyonnais de l'Alimentation Durable (CLAD). A partir de la théorie de la résilience (Weick, 1993) et selon l'approche de la théorie ancrée, nous montrons les caractéristiques d'une résilience méta‐organisationnelle. Nous discutons ensuite des rapports entre résilience d'une méta‐organisation et transformation sociale et contribuons à la connaissance des méta‐organisations de type dit “policy shaper”, c'est‐à‐dire qui contribuent à l’élaboration de politiques publiques. Enfin, ce cas nous montre comment l'économie sociale et solidaire (ESS) et les pouvoirs publics se rencontrent autour d'un commun de l'alimentation, faisant de la méta‐organisation une expression de la diversité institutionnelle dans le déploiement des communs.
... But what fundamentally distinguishes MOs from most inter-organizational network is there formal-organizational dimension. This dual nature of MOs is clearly suggested by Bor (2014) when she proposes that the concept of MO has three important elements: (1) an MO is essentially an organization; (2) the MO is an association, meaning that members collectively form the center of authority; (3) members of this organization are themselves organizations, that is, collective action units composed of individuals or organizations, who possess resources that they can (but not necessarily will) contribute to the collective (the MO) (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Bor, 2014). However, the network concept is much broader than the MO concept. ...
... However, the perspective developed by Gulati et al. includes different forms of networks that would not be characterized as MO from the Ahrne and Brunsson perspective. This has led Berkowitz and Bor (2018) to evoke the existence of a "European school" of MOs to distinguish the strand of studies building on the work of Ahrne and Brunsson that focus on more institutionalized forms of MOs and their formal organization and associative dimensions (Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016;Bor, 2014), as opposed to the more US-UK based research community that takes Gulati et al. (2012) as its key reference. ...
... Some scholars have invited to study variations among MOs (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008;Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). However, while the issue of the similarity and heterogeneity of internal members has been a central topic of the MO literature, the question of how MOs differ among themselves has received much less attention. ...
Article
In this paper, I explore theoretically the issues of meta-organizations' diversity and agency through a cross-literature analysis, thereby establishing a bridge between two strands of literature that until now have strikingly developed in total isolation. I show that one of the most distinctive traits of global union federations relates to their meta-organizational activities that take place at the firm level and reflect a complex, multi-level meta-organizational configuration where the upper level interacts directly with second-order members but the intrinsic exteriority of global union federations to the corporate unions network positions them as "meta-organizational network brokers". I also elicit two main dimensions of differentiation among meta-organizations that have been only indirectly delineated in the literature and which could constitute useful analytical tools for characterizing meta-organizations from a comparative perspective: (1) the degree of consistency between the goals of meta-organization secretariats and the objectives pursued by meta-organization members; and (2) the degree and direction of asymmetrical interdependence between the meta-organization itself and its members. I argue that both dimensions strongly condition the capacity for agency of their secretariat, and ultimately the degree of actorhood and the capacity of meta-organizations to act as autonomous and influential organizational actors.
... Scholars commonly recognise all these features as core to every meta-organisation (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008;Berkowitz & Bor, 2018) and, equally, scholars of collective action recognise these same features as common problems with collective actions (Dietz, Ostrom, & Stern, 2008). This overlapping contrast makes FNCs an appropriate context for studying the connections between meta-organisations and commons. ...
... Since meta-organisations can be formed for very different reasons and objectives, studies and taxonomies on their functions are challenging to find (Brankovic, 2018). Even so, a great many studies on the potential of meta-organisations in sustainability have been conducted in recent years (Berkowitz, 2018;Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). For example, Berkowitz (2018) finds meta-organisations can be a vehicle to boost sustainable innovation or solve grand challenges, while Vifell and Thedvall (2012) explore their potential in the field of Fairtrade, and Chaudhury et al. (2016) see meta-organisations as a tool for collaboration in fighting global climate change. ...
... Previous studies have shown that the process of identifying an informal meta-organisation can last years. Informal meta-organisations often involve hundreds of stakeholders and are intrinsically fluid (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Chaudhury et al., 2016;Valente & Oliver, 2018). Therefore, we have decided to focus on formal meta-organisations operating with a business model that bridges a small local commons. ...
Article
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The governance of shared resources through collective actions to prevent “the tragedy of the commons” has long been a controversial topic in management studies. Hampered by a lack of formal organisational structures, small locally-governed commons are usually managed through informal networks and, hence, largely studied in this context. However, Italy’s formalised network contracts initiative provides a unique and relatively rare opportunity to study how the business-led collective action of a formal meta-organisation influences the use of commons. Using a mixed-methods qualitative approach, this paper reveals how particular organisational features, especially collaborative and social learning, can play a critical role in driving formal meta-organisations towards positive outcomes in three progressive stages: commons protection, commons stewardship, and commons governance. The analysis is framed by two different streams of literature – meta-organisation theory and sustainability science – with implications for the theory and praxis of both.
... Consequently, there are three dimensions to ascertain the dynamics of the meta-organization: the dimension of the meta-organization, that of the member organization, and that of the individual (Berkowitz & Bor 2018). How a meta-organization works can only be understood through an understanding of how these dimensions are articulated. ...
... Yet, in this paper we will argue that such complexity also relies on interactions between the meta-organization and the individual regarding organizational and personal interests and the desire for disinterestedness. Indeed, meta-organizations rely on three levels: the meta, the organization and the individual (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Previous studies have focused on individuals as representatives of their organizations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), and also on interests of their own organization in addition to common interests and goals with other members of the meta-organization (Arhne & Brunsson, 2005). ...
... Indeed, meta-organizations rely on three levels: the meta, the organization and the individual (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Previous studies have focused on individuals as representatives of their organizations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), and also on interests of their own organization in addition to common interests and goals with other members of the meta-organization (Arhne & Brunsson, 2005). But little has been developed about the personal interest and disinterestedness of individuals. ...
... Consequently, there are three dimensions to ascertain the dynamics of the meta-organization: the dimension of the meta-organization, that of the member organization, and that of the individual (Berkowitz & Bor 2018). How a meta-organization works can only be understood through an understanding of how these dimensions are articulated. ...
... Yet, in this paper we will argue that such complexity also relies on interactions between the meta-organization and the individual regarding organizational and personal interests and the desire for disinterestedness. Indeed, meta-organizations rely on three levels: the meta, the organization and the individual (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Previous studies have focused on individuals as representatives of their organizations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), and also on interests of their own organization in addition to common interests and goals with other members of the meta-organization (Arhne & Brunsson, 2005). ...
... Indeed, meta-organizations rely on three levels: the meta, the organization and the individual (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Previous studies have focused on individuals as representatives of their organizations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), and also on interests of their own organization in addition to common interests and goals with other members of the meta-organization (Arhne & Brunsson, 2005). But little has been developed about the personal interest and disinterestedness of individuals. ...
Conference Paper
Key words: Meta-organization; Interest & Disinterestedness; Levinas; Individuals
... Face à leur prolifération, la recherche sur ce qui est désormais désigné comme des « métaorganisations » (Ahrne & Burnsson, 2005) émerge depuis le milieu des années 2000. Les métaorganisations sont définies comme des organisations ou associations ayant pour membres des organisations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Les premiers travaux montrent qu'elles diffèrent de 110 manière importante des organisations basées sur les individus, appelant à l'élaboration de théories différentes (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2005. ...
... Les premiers travaux montrent qu'elles diffèrent de 110 manière importante des organisations basées sur les individus, appelant à l'élaboration de théories différentes (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2005. Ainsi, depuis quelques années, une recherche plus systématique sur ces organisations se développe, visant à élaborer des théories permettant de compléter les théories générales des organisations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Lawton, Rajwani, & Minto, 2018;Spillman, 2018). Au-delà des enjeux théoriques, les enjeux politiques sont également importants car en tant qu'acteurs de la définition et de la diffusion de pratiques soutenables , les méta-organisations peuvent aider à répondre à des challenges socio-environnementaux majeurs comme le changement climatique (Chaudhury et al., 2016). ...
... Ensuite parce que les membres cherchent parallèlement à protéger leur propre autonomie, identité et légitimité (Berkowitz & Bor, 2017). Enfin, parce qu'ils ne sont que partiellement absorbés, conservant par ailleurs leur 111 propre centre d'autorité et pouvant décider à tout moment de rester ou de sortir, de contribuer ou non à leur méta-organisation (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). La socialisation organisationnelle constitue une réponse clé à l'enjeu de construction d'identité collective (Albert & Whetten, 1985;Ashforth et al., 2014;Ashforth & Mael, 1989). ...
Thesis
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L’étude de la socialisation organisationnelle renvoie à des enjeux théoriques importants en sciences de gestion puisqu’il s’agit d’étudier un processus qui permet à l’entreprise de se refonder, de se transformer ou au contraire de se maintenir sur certaines de ses frontières (culturelles, réglementaires, identitaire ou institutionnelles) (Battilana, 2018; Bauer, Morrison, Callister, & Ferris, 1998; Daudigeos & Valiorgue, 2018; Van Maanen, 1976). La socialisation organisationnelle constitue ainsi un enjeu critique pour la stabilité et la performance des organisations (Ellis, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2015) et renvoie à un domaine de recherche important au croisement du management et des théories des organisations (Wanberg, 2012). Ce domaine de recherche est largement investi depuis la fin des années 1960 et se développe à un rythme de publication soutenu jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Malgré cet engouement et l’importance des connaissances élaborées au cours des soixante dernières années, elles présentent trois lacunes importantes qui constituent les fondements de notre programme de recherche. 1/ Développer et contextualiser les connaissances des activités de socialisation des organisations et de leurs membres. 2/ Développer les connaissances processuelles sur la socialisation organisationnelle. 3/ Développer les connaissances sur les enjeux organisationnels et politiques de la socialisation organisationnelle.
... The concept of MO relates to various empirical organizational forms that have been widely investigated for themselves, with or without any explicit reference to the MO concept, such as trade associations (König et al. 2012;Berkowitz and Dumez 2015;Berkowitz and Bor 2017;Lawton et al. 2018) or international organizations (Kerwer 2013;Ahrne et al. 2016a;Brankovic 2018). This diversity makes difficult the generalization of empirical results based on a specific type to all kinds of MOs. ...
... Conversely, more and more authors have recently tended to use the term MO with few or no mention of Ahrne's and Brunsson's theoretical framework (see Gulati et al. 2012;Lawton et al. 2018;Spillman 2018;Radnejad et al. 2017), leading to distinguish the ''European school'' of MO, building on Ahrne and Brunsson work, from a more US-UK-based research community having the seminal paper by Gulati et al. (2012) as their key reference (Ahrne et al. 2016b;Berkowitz and Bor 2017). As a fact, the perspective developed by Gulati et al., focused on the idea of meta-organizational design, has much more to do with the network perspective, with a specific stress on corporate networks and some other concepts such as the extended enterprise, the closed community, the open community (public forum), and the managed ecosystem models. ...
... In close connection with this, the explicit purpose of MOs is to defend the industry's interests (in the case of trade associations) or the interests of the activity sector to which they belong. More specifically, in order to meet this goal, MOs can have a wide variety of functions (Berkowitz and Bor 2017). Ahrne and Brunsson (2008) identify three general purposes for which a MO may be set up: interaction among members, collective action among members, or creation of a collective identity. ...
Article
Full-text available
To cope with the new challenges inherent to their political role, civil society organizations must convince their stakeholders about their legitimacy, and meta-organizations (MOs) appear to play a central role in such a context (Ahrne and Brunsson in Scand J Manag 21(4):429–449, 2005; Bonfils in Scand J Disabil Res 13(1):37–51, 2011). In this paper, we aim to better understand the legitimating processes of a specific kind of MOs—namely civil society MOs (CSMOs)—considering that CSMOs feature some characteristics that reinforce both internal and external legitimacy issues. Our research is based on an in-depth case study of a French national federation (Fédération Addiction) formed by the merger of two former federations originating in different fields, alcoholism treatment and drug addiction professionals. We confirm the importance of stakeholders’ representativeness in the governance of MOs and especially in multi-stakeholders CSMOs, and we corroborate the assertion that MOs closely relate to categorization-related issues and the categorization process itself in many ways: the legitimacy and the potential for action of MOs depend on the socially perceived appropriateness of the delimitation of the field that they claim to represent, and at the same time categorization is reinforced by the creation of MOs. We contribute to the current literature on MOs in two main ways. First, we show how a change in the relevant categorization may result from the dual and interacting actions of the MOs themselves and public authorities. Second, our case study illustrates how a restructuring of the MOs landscape may strengthen the salience of internal legitimacy issues federative actors are confronted with in order to maintain their representativeness and position in the expanded organizational field. In this dynamic context, external and internal legitimating processes appear closely intricate, and categorization and governance issues appear strongly interrelated.
... Yet, oceans face severe socio-environmental pressures, from plastic to underwater noise pollution or overfishing, which call for rethinking governance systems in an innovative way [1]. Answering recent calls for the study of MO's contributions to sustainability transitions [5], this paper proposes to take a MO approach to analyze ocean governance challenges. ...
... The literature shows that MO strictly differ from individual-based organizations and present specific characteristics [3,[5][6][7]. MO are associations of organizations, whose members generally seek to retain their own identity, autonomy and resources. As a result, MO are often set up as a form of partial organization [8,9]. ...
... The concept of MO emerged to account for the different dynamics of collective action among organizations compared with individual-based organizations [3]. Several recent efforts have sought to unpack MO attributes (see for a review [5,12]. Drawing on these and other colleagues' works, we review seven key characteristics of MO of particular importance for governance: formal organization, organization-based, partial organization, inter-organizational space, coopetition enabler, and regulatory intermediation (synthesized in Table 1). ...
... They are associations with public, private, and third sector organizations as their members that diffuse norms and best practices, including sustainability practices, among their members to achieve collective learning (Gadille et al., 2013;Berkowitz, 2018;Webb, 2018). Berkowitz & Bor (2018) emphasize the need for more research into how they foster sustainability. Corazza et al. (2019) agree with them, but also claim that there is 'general support in the sustainability literature over the suitability of meta-organizations to foster sustainable development.' ...
... Why might water sector associations, as meta-organizations, make them such influential parts of local government organizational network when it comes to fostering innovation? Berkowitz & Bor (2018) point to their capacity to be a 'multistakeholder and distributed governance device that defines and diffuses sustainable practices. ' Corazza et al. (2019) emphasize their role in social learning. ...
Article
Full-text available
Organizational networks are regarded as key in policy innovation for sustainable development. They are thought to enhance innovation through access to first-hand experience, enhanced trust within a community, and exposure to role models and competitors. Despite theoretical pertinence, organizational networks have not been studied as much as other drivers of innovation, such as organizational capacity, leadership, and the socio-political environment. This empirical study explores how networks affect the implementation of Sustainable Urban Water Management Practices (SUWM) at the local level. Using data from 110 local governments in five US regions, we examine the relationship between social interaction and the implementation of SUWM, and how this relationship depends on the types of interaction partners. Our findings show that local governments with larger organizational networks implement more SUWM practices. Collaboration with non-governmental organizations, particularly water sector associations, is strongly associated with an increase in use of SUWM practices. Overall, our findings suggest that creating and maintaining a robust organizational network of other government agencies and non-governmental organizations, especially water sector associations, increases the chances that a local government will implement more SUWM practices. HIGHLIGHTS The use and consideration of sustainable urban water practices are statistically linked to local policy networks.; Governments with larger policy networks implement more practices.; Non-governmental organizations are key drivers of the use of sustainable practices.; Change agents can promote change by involving local water agencies in networking opportunities with NGOs and other agencies.;
... Gimet et Grenier (2018 : 12) observent quant à eux les éléments organisant la méta-organisation pour « favoriser l'innovation entre ses membres ». Les méta-organisations ont également pour activité de chercher à « affecter l'environnement au-delà des frontières de la métaorganisation » (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), par exemple lorsque les MO MPP ont pour objectif de neutraliser les conflits et jeux de pouvoir entre gouvernements et associations. Berkowitz et Bor (2018) insistent aussi sur le fait que l'environnement agit sur la méta-organisation en retour. ...
... Les méta-organisations ont également pour activité de chercher à « affecter l'environnement au-delà des frontières de la métaorganisation » (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), par exemple lorsque les MO MPP ont pour objectif de neutraliser les conflits et jeux de pouvoir entre gouvernements et associations. Berkowitz et Bor (2018) insistent aussi sur le fait que l'environnement agit sur la méta-organisation en retour. Brankovic (2018 : 15) affirme quant à elle que les méta-organisations sont des agents du changement institutionnel car elles permettent « une source de stabilité dans les champs organisationnels ». ...
Conference Paper
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Cinq ans après la volonté inscrite dans la loi de développer des Pôles Territoriaux de Coopération Economique (PTCE), nous cherchons à valider l'ambition politique des PTCE de favoriser et contribuer au développement local durable (Art. 9 de la loi du 31 juillet 2014 relative à l'économie sociale et solidaire). Par l'observation des processus de création des méta-organisations multi-parties prenantes (MO MPP) (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008 ; Berkowitz & Dumez, 2015), nous cherchons à mettre en évidence les effets de création des PTCE sur l'accélération du développement local durable dans les territoires concernés. La question de recherche de cette contribution est la suivante : En quoi le processus de création des méta-organisations multi-parties prenantes affecte la réponse aux enjeux sociaux de territoire ? L'article présente une étude de cas encastrée (Yin, 2009) sur le territoire régional des Hauts-de-France. La collecte des données est basée sur une étude multi-niveaux comprenant l'environnement institutionnel et de réseaux, les méta-organisations multi-parties prenantes, et les organisations membres. Par l'analyse des effets de co-évolution (Child et al., 2012 ; Jones, 2001 ; Lewin & Volberda, 1999) dans le processus de création des MO, nous mettons en évidence l'influence croisée des organisations, méta-organisations et environnement. L'article contribue ainsi à révéler que les processus de co-évolution multiples influent sur la prise de conscience, la diffusion et le développement de réponses aux besoins sociaux de territoire. Cet article met également en évidence que le triptyque de co-évolution facilite la création de la MO MPP par le développement progressif de similarités entre les organisations parties prenantes ainsi que la mise en place d'un environnement facilitant.
... This chapter develops an organizational approach to analyze how competing fi rms cooperate to collectively address patent-related concerns. To do so, we study meta-organizations in the fi eld of patents (Berkowitz & Bor, 2017 ). Meta-organizations are organizations in which members are themselves organizations, and they aim to collectively control external organizations and to infl uence the surrounding environment (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008 ;Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016 ;Gulati et al., 2012 ). ...
... Further investigating these criss-crossing patterns of coopetition could provide a better understanding of both the optimization of patenting strategies and the effi cient governance of patent pools. Studying coopetition in or through meta-organizations is an emerging and promising venue of research (Berkowitz & Bor, 2017 ;Chiambaretto & Dumez, 2016 ). Future research could further investigate the links between forms of meta-organizations (membership, sector, governance mechanisms) and coopetition patterns across patent pools, for instance, using qualitative comparative analysis. ...
... According to MO theorists, there are large and significant differences between networks and MOs. [107][108][109] Networks are often based on differences (different types of organisations such as hospitals and primary care organisations), with the network providing opportunities for interactions that bring mutual advantages: ...
... In MOs, member organisations retain their identity and a high degree of autonomy. 107,109 There is a potential tension, therefore, between the MO's requirement for a degree of authority to organise its members and each member organisation's need to organise itself. ...
Article
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Background General practices have begun working collaboratively in general practitioner federations, which vary in scope, geographical reach and organisational form. Objectives The aim was to assess how federating affects practice processes, workforce, innovations in practices and the interface with health and social care stakeholders. Design This was a structured cross-sectional comparison of four case studies, using observation of meetings, interviews and analysis of documents. We combined inductive analysis with literature on ‘meta-organisations’ and networks to provide a theoretically informed analysis. Results All federations were ‘bottom-up’ voluntary membership organisations but with formal central authority structures. Practice processes were affected substantially in only one site. In this site, practices accepted the rules imposed by federation arrangements in a context of voluntary participation. Federating helped ease workforce pressures in two sites. Progress regarding innovations in practice and working with health and social care stakeholders was slower than federations anticipated. The approach of each federation central authority in terms of the extent to which it (1) sought to exercise control over member practices and (2) was engaged in ‘system proactivity’ (i.e. the degree of proactivity in working across a broader spatial and temporal context) was important in explaining variations in progress towards stated aims. We developed a typology to reflect the different approaches and found that an approach consisting of high levels of both top-down control and system proactivity was effective. One site adopted this ‘authoritative’ approach. In another site, rather than creating expectations of practices, the focus was on supporting them by attempting to solve the immediate problems they faced. This ‘indulgent’ approach was more effective than the approach used in the other two sites. These had a more distant ‘neglectful’ relationship with practices, characterised by low levels of both control over members and system proactivity. Other key factors explaining progress (or lack thereof) were competition between federations (if any), relationship with the Clinical Commissioning Group, money, history, leadership and management issues, size and geography; these interacted in a dynamic way. In the context of a tight deadline and fixed targets, federations were able to respond to the requirements to provide additional services as part of NHS Improving Access to General Practice policy in a way that would not have been possible in the absence of federations. However, this added to pressures faced by busy clinicians and managers. Limitations The focus was on only four sites; therefore, any federations that were more active than those federations in these four sites will have been excluded. In addition, although patients were interviewed, because most were unaware of federations, they generally had little to say on the subject. Conclusions General practices working collaboratively can produce benefits, but this takes time and effort. The approach of the federation central authority (authoritative, indulgent or neglectful) was hugely influential in affecting processes and outcomes. However, progress was generally slower than anticipated, and negligible in one case. Future work Future work would benefit from multimethod designs, which provide in-depth, longitudinal, qualitative and quantitative methods, to shed light on processes and impacts. Funding This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research programme and will be published in full in Health Services and Delivery Research ; Vol. 8, No. 11. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
... Les mécanismes de prise de décision se faisant sous forme de consensus pour éviter que des membres se désengagent, un état d'inertie peut se mettre en place. Et comme il est peu coûteux pour les organisations de se maintenir en communauté (Berkowitz, Bor, 2018), cette inertie peut perdurer et mettre la communauté un état de « dormance ». Ainsi de multiples méta-organisations en dormance peuvent coexister et occuper l'espace des relations interorganisationnelles sans pour autant produire quelque chose. ...
... Par exemple, des PGIO au sujet de l'implication d'organisations extérieures dans leurs mécanismes décisionnels et dans leurs actions d'innovation pour faire passer l'innovation à l'échelle sont à considérer ; également des PGIO pour le contrôle des durées de certaines phases de l'action pour éviter des temps d'inertie trop longs pouvant être à l'origine de blocages, comme l'ont identifié par ailleurs Cohendet et al. (2008) dans les processus créatifs. Ces champs de recherche restent à investir et contribueraient à l'agenda de recherche sur les méta-organisations proposé par Berkowitz et Bor (2018). ...
Article
The Role of Inter-Organizational Management Practices in Strengthening Inexperienced Innovation Communities : Exploratory Study in Burkina Faso This article looks at the role of inter-organizational management practices (IOMPs) in the functioning of innovation communities that fail to succeed. Based on a literature review of strategic approaches to networks and innovation management approaches, an analytical framework was designed to explore four areas of inter-organizational relationship management that address frequently encountered obstacles : commitment and control ; training and information ; piloting the innovation process ; the allocation of ressources. Based on six case studies in Burkina Faso, we show on the one hand that the IOMPs are necessary but not sufficient for an innovation community to work better and on the other hand, that other management areas of interorganizational relationships should be considered. Two types of innovation communities (dispersed or disaggregated) are identified, for which the role for IOMPs to enhance their capacity to innovate is discussed. JEL Codes: M11, L22, O13, O31, N17
... Over the past two decades, higher education has become a highly interconnected and nested global organizational field, in which the UNESCO-affiliated International Association of Universities (IAU) occupies a prominent position as one of the first and the only genuinely global and inclusive meta-organizations, i.e. organization that has other organizations as members (Berkowitz and Bor 2017). Despite its broad range of missions and membership benefits, membership in the IAU is strikingly low, with currently only 3.2%, or N = 551, of the global higher education field (~16,978) being a full (institutional) member of the IAU. ...
... As an inclusive, open, global and non-expensive organization with considerable benefits, we see the IAU as an almost ideal-typical meta-organization, i.e. an organization that has other organizations as members Brunsson 2005, 2008). Meta-organizations have become an important concept in organization studies where it helps understand organizational field construction and composition as well as organizational behavior and inter-organizational relations Brunsson 2005, 2008;Berkowitz and Bor 2017). These are emerging questions also in higher education where university behavior is undergoing strategic changes and inter-university relations are being globally reshuffled, especially when considering the growing number of higher education meta-organizations in the form of inter-university associations (Brankovic 2018a). ...
Article
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The International Association of Universities (IAU) is the only inclusive global university association, its membership barriers are low, yet few universities are members despite considerable benefits. What determines membership in this long-standing international university alliance? Reviewing recent trends toward a more networked, stratified and internationalized global higher education field, we argue that universities with a greater need for legitimation and those 'born' into a global era are more likely to become members of an inclusive international network like the IAU. Thus, we expect lower status and younger universities to be more likely to join. We apply regression models to test hypotheses implied by these arguments. Our findings are consistent with these hypotheses, even after controlling for other factors. We discuss these findings using neo-institutional arguments about legitimacy and imprinted logics and suggest potential analytical avenues for further research.
... Meta-organizations can have different purposes, from representing and defending collective interests or goals, to producing information or regulating members (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Spillman, 2017). They increasingly help to tackle complex global problems: addressing grand challenges like climate change (Chaudhury et al., 2016), governing sustainable innovation (Berkowitz, 2018), or global value chains (Acquier, Valiorgue, & Daudigeos, 2015;Carmagnac & Carbone, 2018). ...
Research Proposal
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This special issue wants to embrace and advance the work on meta-organizations. We welcome submissions on all aspects of meta-organization. Submissions can be theoretical, empirical, or methodological in nature. M@n@gement is the first free and open access peer-reviewed journal in management. It is supported by the CNRS and the AIMS. It publishes papers that contribute to strategy, organizational theory, innovation, entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance. Deadline for submission is 1st Dec 2019
... 20 In this context, GP practice representatives are accountable to both the meta-organization and their respective employing organizations, whereas a CCGs' primary accountability is to NHSE. 21 This raises significant issues for CCGs who may be unable to fulfil the wishes of their members. ...
Article
Objective This paper aims to explore the nature of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England as membership organizations. Utilizing the concept of meta-organization as a lens, we discuss the impact that this organizational form might have on CCGs’ ability to become ‘strategic commissioners’. Methods We used a longitudinal qualitative approach to explore the adoption and implementation of primary care co-commissioning. The study was undertaken between May 2015 and June 2017 and included interviews with senior policy makers, analysis of policy documents, two telephone surveys, and case studies in four CCGs nationally. Results CCGs operate as membership organizations with closed boundary and low stratification, whereby a consensus or majority needs to be reached by members when activities impact on membership or the CCG’s constitution. While CCGs should move towards a more strategic commissioning role that is focused on local priorities agreed by their members, they are faced with a complex system of accountabilities and responsibilities, which makes this difficult to achieve. Conclusions The nature of CCGs as membership-based meta-organizations has the potential to both help and hinder CCGs in becoming strategic commissioners. The complexities in accountability and governance that the membership approach introduces, and the potential difficulties that CCGs face with competing meta-organizations, raises questions about the future of CCGs as membership organizations.
... We also answer the call of MOs scholars for more empirical research, showing how MOs can play a prominent role in the creation and diffusion of common principles (Ahrne and Brunsson 2005;Gulati, Puranam, and Tushman 2012). By focusing on the RSPO we respond to recent calls for broadening the scope of research on MOs to the governance of sustainability (Berkowitz and Bor 2018). Despite the fact that some scholars have recognised the importance of MOs in the governance of global sustainability issues (Chaudhury et al. 2016), and as a solution to wicked problems (Dentoni, Bitzer, and Schouten 2018), few studies have investigated how MOs facilitate the transitions toward sustainability. ...
Article
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We investigate the role of multi-stakeholder meta-organisations (MO) in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM). Through an exploratory case study on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), we contribute to extant SSCM literature by highlighting how sustainability principles emerge in a collective space (roundtable) and then are diffused along and across palm oil supply network, involving direct actors in the palm oil supply network, such as producers and traders, but also manufacturing companies from several industries and sectors. The presence of an MO in the supply chain may change the environment for its members, creating a space for collective action and cooperation. However, some bias in the MO’s governance and decision-making mechanism may limit the positive contribution to SSCM.
... Unlike corporations or other forms of equity 7 partnerships or alliances, CSCs typically do not have formal mechanisms of governance, such as a board of directors, to control and hold them accountable and responsible for creating, delivering and capturing value. They are often loosely formed meta-organizations of diverse stakeholder organizations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Gulati, Puranam & Tushman, 2012;Valente & Oliver, 2018) and as such they often lack legal status or ownership. However, governance structures and processes are necessary to achieve desired outcomes of value creation and capture. ...
... Il s'agit également de comprendre comment des « small players » ont pu affronter les mastodontes bancaires français, ces acteurs qui bénéficient non pas de barrières mais de barricades qui sont censées les protéger contre toutes les velléités d'entrée de nouveaux concurrents (Markman & Waldron, 2014). Il s'agit également de comprendre comment ces nouveaux acteurs ont pensé et développé à la fois leur stratégie collective (Astley & Fombrun, 1983), notamment à travers une méta-organisation (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2005Berkowitz & Bor, 2017) (Durand & Paolella, 2013 ;Oswick, Fleming, & Hanlon, 2011) qui peuvent exister entre banques et plateformes de crowdlending. ...
Thesis
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Cette thèse étudie une surprenante naissance, celle d’un nouveau secteur financier : le financement participatif sous forme de prêt rémunéré, ou crowdlending, apparu en France dans la deuxième décennie du XXIème siècle. En s’appuyant sur des études de cas, sur plus de 100 entretiens de recherche, sur le recueil et l’analyse de documents publics, semi-publics, privés et confidentiels ainsi que sur des observations, cette thèse en six articles : 1) permet à son lecteur d'acquérir une certaine forme d’intimité avec une grande variété d’acteurs et de problématiques consubstantielles au crowdlending. Il lui est ainsi donné à voir les actions et les interactions des dirigeants des principales plateformes, mais aussi celles des membres de la méta-organisation sectorielle (Financement Participatif France – FPF), de son Collège de l’Ecosystème, de son déontologue, de son éthique en action, des membres du Trésor, de l’ACPR, de l’AMF, de l’Ordre des experts-comptables, celles des banques commerciales, des conseillers politiques, des associations de consommateurs, des emprunteurs et des prêteurs. Il lui est décrit la cohabitation de forces multiples : des tensions concurrentielles entre secteurs et intra-secteurs, des tensions entre co-construction et confrontation d’acteurs de la régulation, des luttes entre business models, des luttes idéologiques, des chocs culturels, des passions contraires d’une intensité parfois romanesque. 2) montre, et cela n’avait, à notre connaissance jamais été fait auparavant de manière si précise, comment un secteur financier peut tenter de s’auto-réguler en construisant de zéro une méta-organisation crédible mettant en place une prise en compte de l’altérité et des procédures de bricolages éthiques assorties d’éventuelles sanctions. La place du Collège de l’Ecosystème et celle du déontologue au sein de FPF institutionnalisent dans l’auto-régulation du secteur l’influence d’une forme d’altérité, d’une utile dissonance et d’une exigence éthique qui viennent rappeler aux plateformes que leurs fondateurs n’avaient pas pour ambition partagée de réussir un business mais que leur motivation commune était de donner un sens humaniste presque transcendantal à l’activité de crédit. L’auto-régulation est en fait ici une alter-régulation auto-acceptée et organisée au niveau sectoriel. Le secteur veut faire de l’altérité une partie de lui-même. Il le fait dire par sa méta-organisation et l’inscrit dans ses statuts et ses pratiques. Ce bricolage éthique au niveau sectoriel a bien sûr ses imperfections, ses failles ou peut-être ses arrières pensées, mais il a abouti à des résultats factuels intéressants, sur lesquels il conviendrait de continuer à réfléchir et qu’il serait possible et utile de dupliquer à d’autres secteurs. 3) montre que l’expression d’une forme d’intelligence collective pourrait être conditionnée dans le crowdlending à son organisation autour de formes diverses d’expertise. A travers un partenariat entre une plateforme de crowdlending et l’Ordre des experts-comptables, nous avons pu analyser les conditions nécessaires à l’émergence d’une forme d’intelligence collective dans la sélection et le suivi des projets financés par les contributeurs. Il s’agit ici d’accepter que l’expertise ait un coût financier, qu’elle prenne du temps, d’accepter également de laisser à la foule le temps d’interagir sur un projet avant que le financement ne soit ouvert, d’accepter enfin de tirer des conséquences rapides d’informations relevées par la foule, notamment s’agissant de celles qui justifieraient d’interrompre une campagne de financement. Il y a ici, identifiées très précisément, une tension entre la vitesse des nouvelles technologies et la nécessaire lenteur qui, seule, permettrait à l’intelligence collective de s’exprimer, une tension également entre le besoin d’expertise pour alimenter en information robuste une foule et la nécessité de garantir à cette foule la possibilité de remettre en cause cette expertise. Nous avons ici, saisi comme nous ne l’avions vu nulle part ailleurs, ces tensions consubstantielles à l’intelligence collective et sur lesquelles un besoin de recherche se fait très nettement sentir. 4) montre enfin comment une plateforme, que nous avons appelée Unicrédit/Youlend, est allée au-delà de ce que la théorie entendait jusqu’alors à travers le concept d’entrepreneur institutionnel. Unicrédit est allée au-delà dans le sens où, avant même de chercher à influencer le cadre réglementaire existant, cette plateforme a d’abord pris le risque de se fixer à elle-même ses propres règles, sans que celles-ci soient clairement reconnues comme illégales par le régulateur pourtant stupéfait. C’est la définition même du génie par les Encyclopédistes : le génie est celui qui s’applique à lui-même ses propres lois, sans que celles-ci ne puissent être sanctionnées par la société. Cette démarche que les encyclopédistes qualifieraient donc de géniale, s’est aussi mue en celle d’un nomothète au sens rousseauiste, c’est-à-dire qu’Unicrédit a contribué, via son usage révolutionnaire d’un dispositif oublié du code monétaire, le bon de caisse, à poser une nouvelle norme fondamentale, celle abolissant le monopole bancaire sur l’émission de crédit assorti d’intérêt. Nous avons donc ici un dépassement du concept d’entrepreneur institutionnel par celui d’ « entrepreneur institutionnel génie nomothète », concept sans doute moins facile à manier que le précédent, dont l’usage correspond à une situation beaucoup plus exceptionnelle, et qui n’aura sans doute pas la même postérité, mais concept néanmoins intéressant.
... The (relatively limited) literature on organizational federations and associations does contain some studies of importance (e.g., Lowndes and Skelcher 1998;Selsky 1998;Traxler 2002). However, insights into the specific character of meta-organizations remain limited and fragmentary (Berkowitz and Bor 2018;Berkowitz and Dumez 2016). ...
Article
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In their treatise on meta-organization, Ahrne and Brunsson theorize a distinctive organizational form, the association of organizations. Meta-organizations have the properties of formal organizations—boundaries set by determinations of membership, goals, a centre of authority, and ways of monitoring and sanctioning member behaviors. The theory draws a strong distinction between meta-organizations and networks, suggesting that similarity among members is the primary characteristic of meta-organizations, whereas networks signify complementarity and difference. Meta-organizations serve and are governed by their members, though the meta-organization itself may develop its own agency and may regulate its members. It is on this basis that Ahrne and Brunsson develop an account of the dynamics of meta-organizations, placing less emphasis on external sources of change than on the internal relationships between members and the meta-organization itself. This paper appraises the theory of meta-organizations, using a case study of Partners in Paediatrics, a subscription association of health care organizations, as the empirical reference point. Data about this partnership’s membership and its activities are drawn from 12 ‘annual reports’ covering a 17-year period. Focusing, particularly, on the membership composition of the Partnership and its relationship to the changing environment, the case analysis traces the changing character and circumstances of the Partnership, identifying four distinct phases, and raising questions for meta-organization theory and its account of meta-organization dynamics.
... The arena collective is a first-degree organization that has organizations as its members. However, organizations that have organizations as their members are usually called 'meta-organizations', whereby the notion implies certain characteristics that differ from organizations that have individuals as members (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008;Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). In light of the non-existing actorhood of the arena collective, the usual fundamental differences between metaorganizations and individual-based organizations are not existent in our case. ...
Article
You can access the final postprint under this URL: https://www.hsu-hh.de/orgasoz/wp-content/uploads/sites/739/2018/08/Organization_without_actorhood-Postprint-final.pdf . Most scholars explicitly or implicitly build on the assumption that organizations have to be externally recognized as actors to become constituted as organizations. Although recently some scholars have reported on instances of organization without actorhood, the phenomenon still remains widely neglected. Moreover, so far, organization without actorhood is seen as something very limited in terms of complexity and permanency. In this paper, we will draw a different picture. Drawing on the concept of degrees of organizationality (Dobusch & Schoeneborn, 2015) and a decision-based understanding of organization (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2011; Luhmann, 2003), we develop a framework that allows us to explore how much organization is possible without actorhood. Drawing on a qualitative case study of an inter-organizational collective concerned with ensuring public safety, we illustrate that highly complex organization is possible without constituting an actor. Our study presents evidence contradicting the common assumption that complex organization relies on the external attribution of actorhood. We also add to debates on responsibility of organizations and inter-organizational relations by pointing out that organization without actorhood has certain implications, i.e. it allows for a specific avoidance of responsibility.
... Unlike corporations or other forms of equity 7 partnerships or alliances, CSCs typically do not have formal mechanisms of governance, such as a board of directors, to control and hold them accountable and responsible for creating, delivering and capturing value. They are often loosely formed meta-organizations of diverse stakeholder organizations (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Gulati, Puranam & Tushman, 2012;Valente & Oliver, 2018) and as such they often lack legal status or ownership. However, governance structures and processes are necessary to achieve desired outcomes of value creation and capture. ...
Article
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The aim of this study is to understand how governance mechanisms in cross-sector collaborations (CSCs) for sustainability affect value creation and capture and subsequently the survival of this novel organizational form. Drawing on a longitudinal, participatory, single-case study of collaborative action in the textile industry, we identify three governance mechanisms – safeguarding, bundling and connecting – that co-evolve with the rising and waning of collaborative tensions and the shifting levels of action in the CSC we studied. These mechanisms aided value creation and helped to facilitate private value capture. We integrate these insights into a process model that visualizes the interplay between governance mechanisms of tensions and systems of value creation and capture in CSCs for sustainability. Our study contributes to the cross-sector collaboration literature by providing a dynamic and nuanced understanding of how governance mechanisms influence outcomes in CSCs for sustainability. We also add to the business model for sustainability literature by theorizing the value creation and capture system of collaborative rather than individual organizations. Our findings have important implications for policy makers who fund collaborative organizations and practitioners who manage or participate in them.
... In practice, too, they claim that there "are fewer clear norms, rules, and models for meta-organizations than for individual-based organizations" and so there is great "scope for experimentation, innovation, and conflict in ways of organizing" (2008, p. 5). One notable characteristic of metaorganizations found in empirical analyses thus far is a strong preference for consensus decision-making, which has been linked to the limited power metaorganizations have to unilaterally enforce decisions, due to their structure ( Berkowitz and Dumez, 2016;Berkowitz and Bor, 2017), and the existential necessity for member organizations to defending their autonomy (Ahrne, Brunsson and Seidl, 2016: 5). ...
Conference Paper
Cooperatives justify their existence by reference to a set of values that distinguish them from traditional firms, including democratic control by members and cooperative autonomy. Yet the degeneration thesis suggests that there is often a trade-off between such values and economic success. Our research asks which practices instigate, and which resist, such degeneration. More specifically we examine, in the context of federations of cooperative businesses, the tension between the benefits of centralization of decision-making authority for economic growth, on one hand, and the benefits of autonomy and limited scale on the other. Is it possible to enjoy the economic benefits of scale by federating, while maintaining the democratic benefits of small size at the member cooperative level? How do individual cooperatives resolve the trade-off, and how do multiple, autonomous cooperatives negotiate cooperation at the federation level given diverging resolutions? To answer these questions, we present a single case study of an extreme example of this tension, closely following the development of a nascent federation of food cooperatives across France and surrounding regions. We present some tentative initial findings: 1) that value pluralism and thereby autonomy may be maintained through a dynamic system of overlapping and temporary partial metaorganizations, and 2) that the intercoop, as a meeting arena, might be able to perform the role of an internal governance system in a decentralized manner such that ultimate authority does not inhere in any one group of members. Keywords: Metaorganization, cooperative, centralization, degeneration, autonomy, federation.
... For the past decade, the literature on M-Os has expanded through several contributions that followed the seminal works of Brunsson (2005, 2008). An important line of work has focused on the inherent organizational nature of an M-O, investigating the different configurations of M-Os, why and how they are created and the consequences of their actions (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018;Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016;Valente & Oliver, 2018). Another research strand has focused on the relational nature of an M-O, exploring how M-Os interact with various stakeholders, especially public authorities (Bonfils, 2011), to create and diffuse common principles (Berkowitz et al., 2017) and build their legitimacy (Laurent et al., 2019;Suchman, 1995). ...
Article
This article analyzes how a meta-organization (M-O) can shape a coherent collective identity over time. Previous foundational work on identity formation in M-Os has provided fragmented but insightful ideas on several activities that this process entails. However, we currently lack a dynamic, integrative, and empirically supported model that demonstrates how these activities interrelate to shape a coherent collective identity over time. Using an in-depth case study of an association of cider producers in Québec (Canada) over a 23-year period, we develop a model of collective identity dynamics, in which an M-O plays an orchestrator role that is both dual and continuous. On the one hand, an M-O balances the internal identity claims of its organizational members through alignment and differentiation. On the other hand, an M-O builds an externally coherent identity by assembling and positioning legitimacy among institutional actors. Our paper provides new insights into activities performed by an M-O during identity creation by analyzing whether this process includes both organizational and institutional actors, thereby reinforcing the intermediary nature of an M-O. Furthermore, it contributes to the collective identity dynamics literature by elaborating the stabilizing role of a bounded organization in collective identity dynamics at the interorganizational level.
... However, membership in MO is rather inexpensive; it does not need to own resources and may be provided by members in the form of staff, offices, and so on. Therefore, due to low costs of membership and maintenance, MOs is less inclined to fail than other collaborative forms (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Hence, the nature of MO persuasively explains the problem presented in paper 1, i.e. why cooperation between organizations break down. ...
Thesis
There is a widespread consensus that collaborative arrangements do not replace but instead add one or more layers of structural complexity to traditional organizations. In response to the challenges confronting contemporary societies, different network forms such as intermunicipal cooperation, joint ventures, clusters, partnerships, and many similar collective entities become necessary to improve organizational performance and to tackle many challenges in the public sector. For example, networks are essential for the implementation of larger programs, the reduction of unemployment, designing solutions for demographic ageing, responding to ongoing issues like climate change or new issues such as COVID-19. Innovation is widely argued as a key strategy to adequately respond to increased levels of complexity and ongoing crises. Networked arrangements, and especially governance networks that cross sectors and organizations are being turned to a primary means to bring together the necessary resources (people, ideas, and technology) to generate innovation. These governance networks operate alongside traditional government operating structures and, as such, become a secondary place of interaction and work. Indeed, networks are structures of interdependence involving often multiple interdependent organizations. Such structures display more distinctive features compared to traditional hierarchical structures because they have a self-governing ethos and limited authority. Moreover, member organizations must deliberately leverage their relationships to ‘reinvent’ themselves and build a new collective whole. Additionally, managers of collaborative arrangements must not only facilitate complex interaction settings, but also establish strategies to tackle different interests across governmental lines. Together, these factors make it more challenging for the social resources held within collaborations to be actively and deliberately managed. It also makes them more unstable and prone to failure. This thesis addresses the challenges of these dual structures that lead to complexity and the need for different design and management approaches. In doing so, it spotlights two types of collaborative arrangements with attributes that correspond with the features of governance networks. Then, the thesis concentrates on two research topics largely overlooked in inter-organizational relations literature. First, it unpacks several structural and process-based features that might influence the breakdown of networked arrangements - a growing concern, particularly for public sector networks required to produce public value. An enhanced understanding of the factors that might undermine collaboration will improve efficiency and effectiveness of such networks. Second, the thesis will provide nuanced insights into the active management of networks. Two papers here focus on managerial networking across network arrangements. Of these, one paper addresses the antecedents of managerial networking, while the second concentrates on the outcomes of managerial networking, more specifically innovation. Given that responsibilities and expectations of all public managers constantly grow, this thesis aims to shed new light on what factors contribute to network success.
... Ils proposent une contribution spécifique à l'étude des réseaux inter-organisationnel. La littérature en sciences de gestion reconnaît de longue date l'intérêt qu'il y a à user de la stratification comme moyen de réduire la complexité de la coordination dans les organisations (Simon 1962 Enfin, dans le cadre d'une telle étude, l'identification d'une ou plusieurs spécificités propres aux dynamiques au niveau inter-organisationnel permettrait d'envisager une contribution à la théorie des méta-organisations, inscrites dans la lignée des travaux de Ahrne et Brunsson (2008Brunsson ( , 2005) actuellement en développement (Berkowitz et Bor, 2018 ;Berkowitz et Dumez, 2016). ...
Thesis
Cette thèse contribue à la compréhension du phénomène organisationnel des FabLabs, ces organisations qui visent à démocratiser la fabrication numérique personnelle et à favoriser le partage de connaissances. Pour cela, nous nous intéressons aux modes de coordination ayant émergé dans ce réseau mondial d’organisations collaboratives locales dont le nombre a crû de façon rapide et continue depuis 2005. Ce travail étudie à la fois le niveau intra-organisationnel (un FabLab comme organisation) et celui inter-organisationnel (le réseau des FabLabs dans son ensemble). Il prend appui sur la littérature relative aux modes de coordination dans les communautés de connaissance et particulièrement dans les communautés de pratiques, dans le cadre de la gestion collective de biens communs, ainsi que dans les réseaux inter-organisationnels. Nous avons adopté une démarche compréhensive fondée sur une posture d’observation participante. Au travers de trois études de cas (une sur le FabLab Artilect et deux sur le Réseau mondial des FabLabs), cette thèse apporte des éclairages sur les modes de coordination dans et entre les FabLabs, et propose deux principales contributions. Nous montrons que les principes partagés dans un réseau collaboratif peuvent être structurants de configurations organisationnelles, par ailleurs diverses. De plus, nous mettons en évidence que, dans le contexte observé, deux processus de fragmentation structurelle apparaissent tant au niveau intra qu’inter-organisationnel. Le premier processus s’opère selon une logique core-periphery. Le second se traduit par la formation de sous-groupes de proximité thématiques et, dans certains cas, géographiques. Nos travaux suggèrent que ces processus peuvent favoriser la préservation de dynamiques collaboratives, malgré la croissance de l’organisation, lorsque des « membres passerelles » se situent dans le core et dans chacun des sous-groupes.
... Clusters are often created to re-shape their contexts and redirect the development paths of their regions (e.g. Rosenfeld 2002;Hospers et al. 2009;Etzkowitz 2012;Berkowitz and Bor 2018). Representing collaborative settings, they can be seen as 'protected spaces' for the introduction and dissemination of new institutions-rules, technologies and practices-through inter-organisational collaborations within their boundaries (cf. ...
Article
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In this paper, we aim at exploring whether and how ‘organised’ clusters can be conceived of as deliberate actors within their contexts. Seeing such clusters as meta-organisations, we suggest that these can make ‘organisationality’ design choices, or decisions regarding full or partial implementation of the five elements constitutive of formal organisations: membership, hierarchy, rules, monitoring, and sanctions. To explore the relationship between clusters’ organisationality and actorhood, we conduct two qualitative case studies of organised clusters in Australia. Our findings suggest that clusters can deliberately ‘construct’ themselves both as organisations and social actors. Furthermore, drawing upon the institutional work perspective, we propose that clusters can engage in deliberate identity, boundary, and practice work. However, in doing so, they address both internal and external legitimating audiences. Finally, our findings suggest that clusters’ organisationality design choices may influence the locus of their actorhood resulting in more or less collaborative approaches to institutional work.
... As these views on network governance and management share many aspects, occasionally even the term (e.g., Berkowitz and Bor, 2018;Gawer, 2014), with the meta-organizing view developed here, it is also important to note some important differences. ...
Chapter
Rooted in organization theory, this chapter aims to map recent advances in understanding employers’ organizations as meta-organizations. Building on an examination of the commonalities and differences of closely related concepts from organization and management studies, a theoretical view is developed that allows an understanding of the variety of employers’ organizations by focusing on the organizational structures (domains, levels, history, actors, and resources) and practices (selecting, allocating, regulating, evaluating, and negotiating) of meta-organizing. Building on this meta-organizing view, more recent varieties and developments in employers meta-organizing are discussed with an emphasis on the arena of labour politics in an era of civil regulation. The chapter concludes by mapping further directions for inquiry of meta-organizing dynamics
... Indeed, meta-organisations involve a broad range of stakeholders who may not necessarily be formal members (Berkowitz 2018). On the other hand, the formal members can simultaneously be the owners, co-producers and end-users of the collectively created value (Berkowitz and Bor 2018). The metaorganisational view places the network of actors at the core of its business model since attracting and retaining the "right" categories of members -the strongest ones -is crucial for its survival (Berkowitz and Dumez 2016). ...
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How should a cluster be designed to foster the innovativeness of its members? In this article, we view self-aware and organised clusters as “meta-organisations” which can deliberately shape their internal structures through design-based interventions. To formulate interventions for cluster design fostering its innovativeness, we adopt a methodology combining a systematic literature review and a design-oriented synthesis. We distinguish between six cluster business model elements: actors and their roles, resources and capabilities, value flows, governance, value propositions and value-creating activities. To gain insight into the properties of these elements conducive to cluster innovativeness, we review literature at the intersection of cluster, meta-organisation, business model and innovation studies. Our study allows to consolidate the extant research into “organised” clustering and the drivers of the cluster actors’ innovativeness. It also helps identify several important unanswered questions in the literature and to suggest potentially fruitful directions for further work.
... Meta-organizations (MO) constitute a "decided social order", as they result from the choices of their members (Ahrne et al., 2016). The concept of meta-organization enables to handle hybrid types of organizations, characterized by different forms of membership, decision-making processes, goals and rules, and is thus a helpful theoretical framework to | 106 study trade associations in their activities (Berkowitz & Bor, 2018). Yet, many research avenues need to be explored in this literature (Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016), especially regarding the success drivers of these industrial initiatives and their methods. ...
Thesis
En 25 ans d’existence, la publicité sur Internet a émergé et pris une importance considérable, devenant le principal levier de croissance pour le marché publicitaire. Le fonctionnement de ce marché se caractérise notamment par une forte complexité, une composante technique omniprésente et la présence d’un duopole à frange concurrentielle. Cette thèse analyse la manière dont différentes organisations ont édifié une forme d'autorégulation industrielle pour résoudre les défaillances de ce marché et contribuer à son organisation. A travers un chapitre général et trois études de cas empiriques, cette contribution à la littérature sur l'autorégulation industrielle explore la manière dont, dans le contexte du marché de la publicité en ligne, des normes privées de nature techniques ont été construites et mises en œuvre. Ces trois contributions abordent trois situations différentes : l’essor du blocage de la publicité en ligne, les problèmes relatifs à la qualité des bases de données utilisées pour le ciblage publicitaire et la construction d’une offre de publicité ciblée à la télévision. Dans ces trois situations, les organisations porteuses de ces initiatives d'autorégulation constituent des arènes de négociation des normes, où la participation des acteurs est un enjeu stratégique.
... By nature, metaorganizations may therefore constitute multi-referential organizations, that bring together non-convergent or even contradictory references and logics (Apelt et al., 2017). In addition to and resulting from these two central parameters -i.e., being an organization and having organizations as members -meta-organizations present other features that may distinguish them from organizations that have individuals as members, thus requiring a different theoretical apparatus (Ahrne et al., 2016;Berkowitz, Bor, et al., 2018). ...
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Meta-organizations are crucial devices to tackle grand challenges. Yet, by bringing together different organizations, with potentially diverging views on these grand challenges, meta-organizations need to cope with the emergence of contradictory underlying social orders. Do contradictory orders affect meta-organizations' ability to govern grand challenges and if so, how? This article investigates these essential questions by focusing on the evolution and intermeshing of social orders within international governance meta-organizations. Focusing on the International Whaling Commission and the grand challenge of whale conservation, we show how over time incompatible social orders between the meta-organization and its members emerge, evolve and clash. As our study shows, this clash of social orders ultimately removes the 'decidability' of certain social orders at the meta-organizational level. We define decidability as the possibility for actors to reach collective decisions about changing an existing social order that falls under a collective's mandate. We argue that maintaining decidability is a key condition for grand challenges' governance success while the emergence of 'non-decidability' of controversial social orders can lead to substantial failure. We contribute to both the emerging literature on grand challenges and organization theory.
... By nature, metaorganizations may therefore constitute multi-referential organizations, that bring together non-convergent or even contradictory references and logics (Apelt et al., 2017). In addition to and resulting from these two central parameters -i.e., being an organization and having organizations as members -meta-organizations present other features that may distinguish them from organizations that have individuals as members, thus requiring a different theoretical apparatus (Ahrne et al., 2016;Berkowitz, Bor, et al., 2018). ...
Chapter
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Societal grand challenges have moved from a marginal concern to a mainstream issue within organization and management theory. How diverse forms of organizing help tackle – or reinforce – grand challenges has become centrally important. In this introductory paper, we take stock of the contributions to the volume on Organizing for Societal Grand Challenges and identify three characteristics of grand challenges that require further scholarly attention: their interconnectedness, fluidity, and paradoxical nature. We also emphasize the need to expand our methodological repertoire and reflect upon our practices as a scholarly community. © 2022 Ali Aslan Gümüsay, Emilio Marti, Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich and Christopher Wickert. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited.
... The actors are "the entities that undertake activities" within an ecosystem (Adner, 2017, p.43 Ethiraj, 2007;Hannah & Eisenhardt, 2018;Jacobides et al., 2018;Kapoor, 2018;Shipilov & Gawer, 2020 Second, based on our examination of the formation of the ecosystem concept (attributes), we argue that an ecosystem refers to a new type of organizational form consistent with the notion of a meta-organization (in line with Kretschmer et al., 2020). According to previous works (e.g., Valente and Oliver, 2018;Gulati et al. 2012;Berkowitz and Bor, 2018), a meta-organization is a type of organization wherein collective action is performed by a group of autonomous organizations that are not bounded by hierarchical mechanisms (e.g., authority) but share a specific system-level orientation or goal. This is notion of a group of actors pursuing a collective goal is consistent with definitions of ecosystem proposed by several scholars (e.g., Thomas and Autio, 2020;Ganco et al., 2020;Adner, 2017) suggesting that actors in an ecosystem pursue a system-level goal (e.g., a focal value proposition). ...
Article
The introduction of supply chain management (SCM) between the 1980s and 1990s represented a breakthrough in the field of management. SCM provides the analytical and theoretical background to design, plan, and manage production activities involving complex chains of firms. Nowadays, both production activities and incremental and radical innovation are organized through complex networks. Innovations, especially radical ones, have unique characteristics related to production flows, which generate new challenges for researchers and managers. In this study, we argue that similar to SCM, ecosystem management (EM) represents a potential breakthrough in the field. However, no general framework exists to address EM. To address this challenge, we perform a systematic literature review by adopting a hybrid approach that combines bibliometric analysis and content analysis. Our findings offer a historical perspective of how EM and the ecosystem concept have evolved over three generations. Building on and reaching beyond current scholarship, we propose a definition of ecosystem as a type of meta-organization. We also identify the goals, scope, and boundaries of EM. Our contributions invite scholars to explore old and new questions related to innovation and management in a novel way.
... Furthermore, Berkowitz (2018) argue that organizing collective practices and process inside meta-organization is fundamental for sustainable innovation, and suggest that further research could study the diffusion of innovation enabled by meta-organizations. Moreover, Berkowitz and Bor (2018) reinforce the importance of research in meta-organizations and suggest that differentiation, competition, and governance are key topics underexplored. ...
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Creating technologically focused entrepreneurs is a crucial endeavor worldwide, especially with the exponential growth of artificial intelligence (AI) innovation. This research explores meta-organizations that enable new business models in the retail domain by acting as a powerful mechanism to support entrepreneurs in extracting value from data. This study investigates how meta-organizations engage users and empower tech entrepreneurs to create shared value by developing social innovation. This research involves an in-depth and longitudinal unique case study of a meta-organization operating in Italy, Germany, and Finland. Results indicate that the flexible structure of meta-organizations can effectively guide stakeholders of different mindsets to offer support to high-tech startups. AI-based platforms are a reliable alternative to tackle critical social issues in order to improve economic growth and increase people's performance in a stressful, competitive environment, such as the retail sector. The findings affirm that AI-based innovation orchestrated by meta-organizations can enable new business models by creating shared value for society. Seven critical success factors with implications for theory and practice are discussed, and a new model for AI-driven entrepreneurship is proposed.
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The authors explore the relation between truth and politics in the context of a prolonged crisis of democracy. After concluding that populism is not the main reason for the crisis, the authors turn to the insights of three philosophers, John Gray, Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou, who have explored the relationship between truth and politics as a reaction to the supposed end of history that occurred in 1989. Rancière had explored the problem of “the end of politics” with its (metapolitical) implications of ending political philosophy and/or liberalism. The consequence described by Rancière is a dominance of a so called “consensus democracy” that finds untruth in every “appearance”. In the dominance of the liberal democratic regime, Badiou recognizes an abolition of the “singularity of truth” that overall harms real pluralism. The authors conclude that the explored insights are especially relevant for interpreting the state of contemporary democracies, and the way they pronounce something as the untruth.
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Zbornik radova sa redovne godišnje međunarodne konferencije Udruženja za političke nauke Srbije održane 25-26.09.2021/Conference proceedings from the SPSA Annual Conference 2021
Research Proposal
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In the contemporary world, there is not only an ever-increasing number of organizations that organize individuals, but these organizations in turn organize themselves into an increasing number of meta-organizations-formal organizations in which members are other formal organizations. In turn, these meta-organizations often form meta-meta-organizations: organizations with meta-organizations as their members. Meta-organizations constitute a salient phenomenon in contemporary society. They coordinate activities across organizational borders, they form organizational identities and they are active in influencing policy decisions of all sorts. Much of global governance takes place through meta-organizations. Meta-organizations typically have the form of an association while the members may be any type of organization: firms, states, civil society associations. The members are autonomous organizations in the sense that the meta-organization cannot force them to join or stay. Examples of meta-organizations include industry associations, trade unions, standards organizations or sports associations but also cooperatives and multi-partner alliances. There are more than 10 000 international meta-organizations. All international government organizations and most international non-governmental organizations are meta-organizations. Large individual-based organizations such as corporations and states typically belong to many meta-organizations. Traditionally, organization scholars have been mainly interested in organizations with individuals as their members. Systematic research about meta-organizing has only just begun. One important theme has been how meta-organizations differ from individual-based organizations (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2005, 2008). There is less systematic knowledge about how and why various meta-organizations differ from one another or how they relate to their environments. In this sub-theme, we aim to bring together new insights on meta-organizations to create and strengthen the basis for theorizing this kind of organization. We welcome both theoretical and empirical studies.
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We are delighted to announce that the first Toulouse workshop on “Meta-, Macro-, and Partial organization: Advances in Research and Theory” will be held on 13th and 14th of May 2019, in Toulouse School of Management, France. Deadline for submission of extended abstracts is February 15th, 2019. We will welcome submissions on aspects of meta-organization and/or partial organization and/or an integration of both. Submissions that address one of the mentioned concepts are as welcome as combined efforts. They can be theoretical, empirical, or methodological in nature.
Thesis
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The main purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding on knowledge ecosystem formation, that is, the factors and processes that result in the emergence of knowledge ecosystems and their particular forms of organisation. I mainly focus on the particularities of the institutional environment and its related institutions as well as the intermediate processes of identifying joint interests and developing a sense of a shared purpose. In this endeavour, I adopted institutional and organisational lenses and took a holistic, multi-level approach. Drawing on two qualitative studies, this thesis shows how the institutional environment can constrain, enable, and orient knowledge ecosystem formation and how the nature of the joint exploratory processes has implications for the organisation of knowledge ecosystems. First, this thesis contributes to the nascent knowledge ecosystem literature by providing a comprehensive understanding of the early stages of knowledge ecosystem formation and the influence of the socioeconomic context during the pre-formation phase as well as of the organisation of ecosystems in such contexts, where hierarchical organisational forms are not feasible. My findings also contribute to the literature on non-traditional forms of organisation by advancing our understanding on the organising particularities of knowledge ecosystems as a type of meta-organisation. In addition, this thesis contributes to the institutional literature and recent calls to understand field transformation and related constraining forces by identifying a variety of field-sustaining mechanisms mutually reinforcing each other. For policymakers, this thesis provides insights on how public policy can support knowledge ecosystem formation. For practitioners, the findings provide suggestions on how to navigate the complexities and ambiguities of the early phases of knowledge ecosystem formation.
Thesis
Cette recherche s’intéresse aux évolutions des stratégies politiques des organisations dans un contexte de changements. Cette thèse s’intéresse particulièrement au rôle central joué par les méta-organisations dans la conduite de l’action collective, au rôle politique des réseaux socio-numériques ainsi qu’au nouveau cadre juridique du lobbying en France avec la loi dite Sapin II. Les stratégies politiques correspondent aux actions protéiformes déployées par les organisations pour influencer la décision publique. La thèse se concentre sur un secteur régulé par l’Etat, l’enseignement supérieur privé français. L’étude empirique est conçue en deux temps : une série de 18 entretiens semi-directifs avec des dirigeants d’établissements, de méta-organisations et des experts en stratégies politiques puis une ethnographie numérique de la communication des acteurs de l’enseignement supérieur français sur Twitter en 2018.La thèse met en évidence la prééminence des méta-organisations dans les actions politiques du secteur de l’enseignement supérieur privé français, et les modalités de l’articulation des actions politiques entre les méta-organisations et leurs membres. La thèse souligne le recours limité aux réseaux socio-numériques dans les stratégies politiques des acteurs étudiés. Cette thèse complète l’arbre de décision des stratégies politiques notamment par l’utilisation des réseaux socio-numériques et le recours aux organisations collectives de défense des intérêts.
Article
Cette recherche s’intéresse aux stratégies déployées par les méta-organisations pour influencer les décisions publiques dans un secteur régulé. À travers 18 entretiens semi-directifs avec des dirigeants du secteur de l’enseignement supérieur privé français et experts en lobbying , et une analyse de la communication numérique des acteurs du secteur (7 759 tweets analysés), l’article met en évidence le rôle des méta-organisations dans les stratégies politiques et étudie leurs modalités d’action. Les résultats suggèrent également un raffinement de l’arbre de décision des stratégies politiques de Hillman et Hitt (1999).
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The European Union has become an important arena for international politics. Various actors try to influence the European-level executive and legislative authorities. Lobbyists in Brussels are not the only type of actors promoting the interests of others. Today, national-level social movement actors too are present at the European level, pushing the interests of various citizen groups and social issues. To do so, however, they need to adapt to the European Union’s multilevel governance system by speaking with one voice. As this thesis demonstrates, at the national level this adaptation may entail a number of organizational challenges for movements. Organizing the Voice of Women regards national-level social movements adapting to international structures. Taking the cases of the Swedish and the Polish women’s movements and their relation to the European Union as examples, the analysis follows two separate, yet similar, processes of forming and maintaining nationwide meta-organizations – that is, organizations of organizations – that can speak for the two respective movements. Through the cases of the two women’s movements’ adaptation to international structures, the study explores the challenges involved when a new layer of organization is added to a social movement. The results show that organizing the voice of the Swedish and the Polish women’s movements has been particularly challenging when conditions such as a tradition of umbrella organizing and stable financial resources are absent at national level. The results also show that competition and conflicts are apparent in both cases and inherent in meta-organizations, and that they have been possible to deal with differently depending on the two movements’ national settings. With an organizational perspective on social movement coalitions, this study contributes to the classic question of institutionalization, formalization and bureaucratization of social movements. It ultimately asks what it means to organize a field of social movement actors and what happens at the junction of organization and social movement, at the intersection of national and international interests. A wider implication of the study is that the issues it highlights are to be expected whenever the internationalization of national movement activities takes the form of meta-organization.
Article
Market creation as such is a relevant policy instrument in sustainability transformations that merits further examination. The regulatory creation of the European Union (EU) biofuels market has been a highly contested policy instrument, largely because of its atypical nature, as biofuels became one of the most controversial renewable energies. This paper combines the literature of market organization and meta-organizations as conceptual lenses to analyse the dynamics and challenges of market creation through policy-making with sustainability goals. A longitudinal qualitative analysis of the EU biofuels market in 2003–2015 is conducted to examine contested policy-making and heterogeneous implementation as two key elements shaping the dynamics and outcomes of market organization. The analysis shows that market organization developed as three organizing schemes—favouring a product group, specifying acceptability for the product group, and establishing preferences within the product group—that redefined market boundaries and signalled innovation incentives but potentially undermined the policy goals of market growth. The findings show that this reorganization produced intertemporal discrepancies and tensions between conflicting policy aims, which partly explain the previously observed inconsistencies within transnational market-creation policies. Accordingly, the market organization and meta-organization literature are proposed as useful conceptual tools to analyse sustainability-driven market creation policies.
Book
È con queste parole che uno dei più affascinanti eroi classici, Ulisse, rimarca al sommo Poeta ciò che, per lui, è l’unico scopo della vita: conoscere… conoscere per non abbrutirsi, per non restare bloccati ad uno stato primitivo fatto di solo istinto e privo di ratio. Sebbene, infatti, sia stata, proprio, questa «insaziabile sete di conoscenza» a indurre Dante ad inserire Ulisse nel girone infernale dei consiglieri di frode1, la sua figura rappresenta, ancora oggi, il simbolo, più riconosciuto e riconoscibile, della ricerca del sapere, di colui che instancabilmente individua sempre nuovi percorsi e nuovi traguardi, in un inarrestabile e metaforico viaggio verso ciò che è ancora sconosciuto. E se è vero che «tutti gli uomini per natura tendono al sapere [toû eidénai]», è a questo viaggio che vuole ispirarsi questo contributo. Un viaggio lungo e non privo di pericoli, emblema di un percorso di crescita e di una predisposizione mentale verso la scoperta del nuovo. Nell’ottica delineata, il volume accompagna il lettore in un viaggio immaginario alla scoperta della conoscenza, del suo significato più profondo e del suo «non senso», per enfatizzarne ruoli e distintività nei processi di crescita individuale e nel successo aziendale. Negli ultimi decenni, infatti, la conoscenza è andata, progressivamente, affermandosi come uno degli assets più importanti per l’acquisizione di un vantaggio competitivo, duraturo e difendibile, e il Knowledge Management come una delle discipline a supporto della formulazione e dell’implementazione di strategie di successo. Non vi è dubbio che il tema della conoscenza sia oggetto di molteplici riflessioni, elaborate in seno a differenti aree disciplinari, che spaziano dalla filosofia alla psicologia e alle scienze cognitive, dalla sociologia all’informatica e alle scienze economiche. Il carattere multidisciplinare e l’affermazione di molteplici approcci all’analisi dei processi di creazione e gestione della conoscenza, hanno indotto, pertanto, uno sforzo di sistematizzazione, in grado di dirimere questo caos creativo mediante la definizione un escursus (un viaggio appunto) che dall’analisi dei paradigmi interpretativi di Knowledge e Knowledge Management giunge all’esame delle più recenti elaborazioni concettuali sui Knowledge Ecosystems. Alla luce delle considerazioni riportate, nella prima parte del lavoro si è provveduto ad una sistematizzazione dei profili teorici elaborati in tema di Knowledge Management per evidenziarne limiti, differenze e sovrapposizioni concettuali. Nonostante il tema della conoscenza, e della sua criticità per il successo aziendale, sia oggetto di crescente dibattito ed enfasi in epoca contemporanea, il suo studio, nelle discipline economico-aziendali, ha assunto rilievo già agli inizi degli anni ’90, in concomitanza con il consolidamento delle nozioni di dynamic capabilities, organizational learning e di intellectual capital. Da semplice strumento funzionale all’implementazione di piani e processi organizzativi, la conoscenza è divenuta una risorsa da gestire in sé, capace di produrre valore per il solo fatto di essere capitalizzata. La delineata enfasi è stata, nello specifico, interpretata come la naturale evoluzione della visione di impresa come insieme eterogeneo di risorse che, dai contributi pionieristici elaborati in seno alla Resource Based View of the firm, ha trovato la sua massima espressione nella Capability-Based e nella Knowledge-based View of the firm. In linea con quest’ultimo approccio, l’impresa è sempre più chiamata a promuovere e implementare complessi meccanismi di creazione e di gestione di conoscenza, atti a sostenerne la capacità innovativa e il successo delle iniziative intraprese. In tal senso, il Knowledge Management (KM), nella sua più ampia accezione di processo volto alla «cattura», alla diffusione e all’uso efficiente del sapere è, sempre più frequentemente, interpretato alla stregua di una vera e propria strategia, da coltivare per il raggiungimento di più elevati livelli di efficienza e profittabilità aziendali. Indispensabile, al riguardo, appare, dunque, la piena comprensione di tutti quei fattori in grado di ostacolare, o alternativamente, facilitare il processo di creazione, condivisione e diffusione del know how, al fine di predisporre le condizioni e il background più idoneo alla nascita di circoli virtuosi, nei quali la condivisione di linguaggi, credi e valori funga da catalizzatore di soggettività individuali, orientate al raggiungimento di un obiettivo comune e condiviso di crescita delle conoscenze. Naturale sviluppo del percorso tracciato è stato, dunque, l’esame, nella seconda parte del lavoro, del modo in cui architetture reticolari, territoriali e non, relazioni intra ed inter-sistemiche e modelli di governance agiscono come veri e propri «facilitatori» di molteplici processi di apprendimento e trasferimento di conoscenze, supportando, in questo modo, la capacità innovativa di tutti gli attori coinvolti, come pure del sistema complessivamente inteso. L’impresa non può essere interpretata alla stregua di un agente innovatore isolato, ma come parte di un contesto che ne influenza e ne condiziona l’agire. La sua capacità di instaurare e sviluppare sistemi relazionali con attori chiave del territorio – università, centri di ricerca scientifica e tecnologica e istituzioni – supporta, altresì, la nascita e lo sviluppo di ecosistemi in continua evoluzione, nell’ambito dei quali principi di shared environment, interdependence, co-evolution e leadership ne rappresentano elementi chiave di sopravvivenza e di successo. La trasposizione del concetto di ecosystem dagli studi di biologia ed ecologia a quelli di management ha consentito, in particolare, di indagare il modo in cui individui e organizzazioni interagiscono, per la ricerca di soluzioni a problemi emergenti, ed evolvono nell’ambito di sistemi complessi, agendo alla stregua di organismi viventi. Nel denso newtwork di relazioni che caratterizza un knowledge ecosystem, università e centri di ricerca operano nella veste di keystone players per la generazione e diffusione del sapere localmente prodotto. Le riflessioni maturate a seguito delle analisi desk, dello studio della letteratura e dell’esame di molteplici case studies inducono ad individuare nel principio di «collaborazione-coevoluzione» delle complesse relazioni sistemiche e nella presenza di un modello di governance flessibile, in grado di garantire unitarietà e integrità a realtà complesse, gli elementi di successo di siffatto ecosistema. Così, se valicare le Colonne d’Ercole dell’umana ragione è il fine ultimo di un knowledge ecosystem, raggiungerlo implica l’abbandono della folle idea di Ulisse e dei suoi nocchieri odisseici di «passare l’oceano con gli stessi mezzi con cui navigavano tra le rive «misurabili» del mare nostrum» per abbracciare logiche innovative, ispirate ad approcci interattivi e ad un armonico equilibrio tra interessi individuali ed azioni collettivamente programmate, giacché… «…nella lunga storia del genere umano (e anche del genere animale) hanno prevalso coloro che hanno imparato a collaborare e ad improvvisare con più efficacia».
Article
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Meta-organizations (MO, i.e. organizations of organizations) are increasingly set up and used to tackle contemporary environmental or social problems. The primary focus of this novel concept has been traditional industries and cases of MO made of one single type of members, e.g. firms, often in the same industry. Little research has examined cross-sectoral or multi-stakeholder MO and their roles in the governance of economic activities, especially in the oceans, which face severe and complex grand challenges. Here we investigate the forms and conditions under which MO can effectively facilitate the joint governance of ocean problems. Our paper develops a conceptualization of ‘governing MO’ as a category of MO dedicated to sustainability and organizations' practices self-governance. We then conduct a comparative study of ocean governance devices through the MO lens and highlight broad variations in the use of MO characteristics. Lastly, we define ideal-typical dimensions and boundary conditions for a MO model of ocean governance.
Article
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Qualifiée par les uns de « divine surprise » ou par les autres d’« inconséquence dramatique », l’ouverture d’une dérogation au monopole bancaire sur le crédit au bénéfice des plateformes adoptant le nouveau statut d’Intermédiaire en financement participatif (IFP) a constitué un véritable coup de tonnerre demeuré en grande partie inexpliqué. Nous chercherons ici à comprendre ce qui a permis d’aboutir en un temps record à l’apparition d’une brèche réglementaire dans le monopole bancaire. Les principaux résultats de notre recherche sont les suivants : - le monopole bancaire sur le crédit était un principe de régulation dont la légitimité, sur le plan intellectuel, était presque unanimement reconnue comme étant extrêmement fragile ; - l’association professionnelle des plateformes a présenté sa démarche de coconstruction du secteur comme étant un élément de réponse mis à la disposition des pouvoirs publics dans leur combat contre la crise ; - un dirigeant de l’une de ces plateformes s’est révélé être un entrepreneur institutionnel redoutable assumant de son propre chef le rôle de nomothète du nouvel incubateur régulatoire proposé ; - les cabinets ministériels et présidentiel se sont investis dans cette problématique d’une manière extrêmement active et singulière ; - les partisans naturels du monopole bancaire sont restés, quant à eux, divisés, désarmés et indécis quant à la position à adopter dans la négociation.
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Titre: Les méta-organisations rendent-elles performatif le développement durable ? Stratégies collectives dans le secteur pétrolier Mots-clé: performativité, développement durable, méta-organisations, secteur pétrolier, océans Résumé: Située à l’intersection de la recherche en stratégie et de la théorie des organisations, la thèse s’intéresse à la manière dont une idée, émise par des instances internationales sous la forme d’une doctrine imprécise, le développement durable, a transformé en profondeur la stratégie, le fonctionnement et la nature même des entreprises. Pour comprendre ce phénomène, la recherche mobilise la notion de performativité, c’est-à-dire la capacité d’une théorie à créer la réalité qu’elle décrit. Mais toutes les théories ou doctrines ne performent pas les comportements des acteurs et trois conditions de performativité ont été identifiées. Lorsque ces conditions sont réunies, deux processus de performativité peuvent intervenir, par cadrage et par débordement. Le développement durable peut donc performer les pratiques si cette doctrine est transformée en principes opérationnalisables (première condition), incorporés dans des dispositifs à différents niveaux, de la méta-organisation au dispositif micro-local dans les firmes (deuxième) et que ces dispositifs sont performants ou deviennent incontournables (troisième). Parmi les dispositifs étudiés au niveau de la deuxième condition, l’accent a été mis sur les méta-organisations (des organisations dont les membres sont des organisations). La thèse constitue la première recherche empirique sur le rôle de ces dispositifs d’action collective dans un secteur industriel, le secteur pétrolier. La méthodologie est compréhensive, s’appuyant sur 80 entretiens semi-directifs, sur la construction d’une base de données de 100 méta-organisations et la mise en place d’un dispositif de recherche intervention sur le problème du bruit marin. La thèse a mis en évidence des formes nouvelles de méta-organisations, thématiques et multi-parties prenantes, opérant comme un espace de négociation interorganisationnelle, comme dispositif stratégique de légitimation des firmes et comme dispositif normalisateur participant d’une gouvernance distribuée. La notion de performativité a été précisée par la mise en évidence de ses conditions de réussite et des deux processus qu’elle peut emprunter. La théorie des méta-organisations a été prolongée par l’identification des types jusque-là peu étudiés. La thèse a ainsi des implications managériales pour l’élaboration de stratégies collectives par les firmes. Title: Do meta-organizations make Sustainable Development performative? Collective strategies in the oil and gas sector Keywords: performativity, sustainable development, meta-organizations, oil and gas, oceans Abstract: Drawing on research in strategy and organization theory, this thesis focuses on the way an idea that was formulated by international instances as an imprecise doctrine – sustainable development, still managed to deeply change firms’ strategy, practices and even nature. This research uses the concept of performativity, i.e. the capacity of a theory to create the reality that it describes. However, all theories or doctrines do not necessarily succeed to perform behaviors and the thesis identifies three conditions of performativity. When the conditions are met, two performa-tivity processes can occur, a framing and an overflowing process. Sustainable development can perform practices if it becomes actionable principles (first condition), if these principles are incorporated in devices at different levels, from meta-organizations to micro-local instruments in firms (second) and if these devices are efficient or irremediable (third). Among the studied devices, the thesis emphasizes the role of meta-organizations, organizations which members are them-selves organizations. The thesis constitutes the first empirical survey of this collective action device’s role in an industrial sector, the oil and gas. Using a comprehensive methodology, data collection consisted in 80 semi-structured interviews, constructing a database of about 100 meta-organizations and setting up an intervention-research device on the emerging issue of marine sound. The thesis highlights new forms, thematic and multi-stakeholder, that act like an inter-organizational negotiation space, as a strategic device for the legitimization of firms’ activities, and as a normalizing device participating to a distributed governance of business conduct and society. The thesis clarifies the concept of performativity by identifying its conditions of success and the two processes it can follow. The thesis also contributes to the literature on meta-organizations by showing its empirical diversity and by identifying types that we knew little about before. As such, the thesis has managerial implications for collective strategies of firms.
Article
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As regulation increasingly results from the interplay of a wide array of different actors operating at different levels, it has become crucial to focus on how these constellations of regulatory actors operate. Although this research field presents huge potential for theoretical development, we still lack the measurement techniques to allow systematic comparative research. We contribute to filling this gap with four indices measuring crucial characteristics of multi-actor regulatory arrangements: (i) the scope of organizational proliferation; (ii) the extent of coordination between regulatory actors; (iii) the amount of influence that each individual regulatory actor has on the sector regulation; and (iv) the extent to which the regulatory influence is concentrated in the hands of one or a few actors. We argue that our indices are sufficiently systematic, reliable, and flexible to be applied in a variety of research contexts relating to multi-level and multi-actor regulatory governance.
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This essay is motivated by two related observations about the field of organization studies. First, organization studies researchers have traditionally been good at importing ideas from other areas of research but poor at exporting their own ideas to other fields. Second, even within the field of organization studies, interest in organizations has decreased over the past decades as organization scholars have turned away from organizations to address such other phenomena as institutions or networks. Both developments are undermining the significance of organization studies as a distinctive field of research, the insights of which are necessary for understanding modern society. In this essay, we elaborate on recent suggestions by distinctively European scholars for strengthening concern for the particularities of organization in social theorizing. The first suggestion is to move decisions back to the core of the field. The second suggestion is to extend the notion of organization beyond organizations. We illustrate these two moves with examples from the literature and discuss implications for the future of organization studies.
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This study seeks to provide insights into the management of tensions related to information in coopetition. The literature on coopetition management recommends a separation principle, an integration principle or a combination of both. Focusing on tensions related to information in coopetition at the project level, we consider which principle is most appropriate. We theoretically discuss the control mechanisms used to address information criticality and information appropriability. In addition, we conduct an in-depth case study of a space project involving two competitors, Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. First, we describe the tensions related to information that arose in the context of this coopetitive project. In particular, financial and technical information presented dilemmas. Second, we explain how the coopetitors used formal control mechanisms to separate critical information from non-critical information. Specifically, information that was critical to the project's success was shared through a common information system specially designed for the project, whereas non-critical information was withheld from the partner. Third, because formal control mechanisms were insufficient to address critical information that was also appropriable, we show how project managers implemented informal control mechanisms. For example, project managers transformed appropriable information into non-appropriable information by aggregating data and withholding details such as calculation methods and cost structures. Our findings suggest that the management of tensions related to information in coopetitive projects requires a combination of formal control mechanisms (to manage information criticality) and informal control mechanisms (to manage information appropriability).
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This article concludes that at this point in its development, and from the vantage point of organization science, inter-organizational relations (IORs) seem to constitute an emerging sub-field of organization science focusing on the inter-organizational level of analysis and beginning to develop its own institutional trappings. The empirical and conceptual basis which draws together scholars interested in IORs can be found in a specific focus on questions about the boundaries or identities of inter-organizational entities, including bilateral and multilateral partnerships and alliances, clusters, groups, and networks, their relational structures, contents, and practices. As IOR's perhaps most important mother discipline, organization science, has successfully demonstrated throughout its history, it can be most fruitful if research endeavours draw on, and learn from, concepts, theories, and methods first developed in other disciplines and fields of scientific enquiry.
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It is widely known that governance is central to the successful implementation of sustainable development policies and measures. Yet, there is a paucity of research which explore the links between governance and sustainability. This paper attempts to address this research need by providing an analysis of the role of governance in enabling – and to some extent – fostering a transition towards sustainable societies. A set of indicators for assessing the capacity for and willingness and commitment to transition to a more sustainable society is presented, enabling identification of direction of change. This paper presents the results of a study, in the context of which sustainability governance has been comparatively investigated in a sample of European countries with, by methodological purpose, very different economic, environmental, political and social conditions (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland). Lessons learnt and examples of good practice – which may be replicable elsewhere-are outlined. For instance, it is discussed that limited knowledge about sustainable development amongst municipal development planners and decision-makers, deficiencies in policy integration, intersectoral cooperation, municipality and stakeholder cooperation and urban management practices are major reasons for weak governance practices in sustainable development. Furthermore, some recommendations on the role of sustainability governance are made, so as to allow the integration of the principles of governance into sustainability practice and hence provide a more general basis upon which a transition towards sustainable societies may become a reality in different types of European countries and societies. The scientific value of this paper lies in identifying opportunities for integrating principles of governance into sustainability practice, as well as outlining the basis for sustainability transitions, providing a general picture of required policy measures. The paper offers a unique comparative analysis of sustainability governance in the Baltic Sea countries, outlining some of the challenges in sustainability governance in the Baltic Sea region.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) through the theoretical framework of meta-organizations that focusses on organizations that are themselves made up of organizations. Design/methodology/approach – The data are drawn from a unique case study based on interviews with WADA experts and documentary analysis. Findings – The authors analyzed WADA through the organizational and strategic dimensions of meta-organizations, which are themselves each defined by two criteria: the mission and scope of the organization vs the hierarchical stratification and decision-making process. The findings suggest that the WADA can be examined through the lens of meta-organizational theory. The criterion of consensus in the decision-making process has already been put forward by scholars, but it needs to be nuanced in the study since it is not the only process used by WADA in its decision-making. Research limitations/implications – The paper enhances the understanding of a specific international sports organization at the heart of current major sports issues and enriches the literature on meta-organizational theory, which is a relatively recent development. A next step is a longitudinal study, focussing on the decision-making process and the evolution of a meta-organization over time. Originality/value – While the meta-organization has been considered recently in the management literature, this paper seeks to advance the discussion by linking it to the international sports field to gain more insight into its complexity.
Thesis
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Organisations collaborate with one another. And they appear to do so more and more frequently in the recent decades. At the same time many of these efforts fail to deliver what the collaboration was set up for. This combination creates the basis for the fascinating and stimulating research field of inter-organisational relations – a field which is still very much in development. In this thesis the focus is on meta-organisations, associations in which organisations are members. The steering of such inter-organisational structures appears to need a novel approach, a collective, multi-level engagement which I set out to examine. The thesis is structured to foreground the process of the research and the development of my thinking. The study is conducted on R&D consortia funded as Networks of Excellence by the European Commission under Framework Programme 6. The study is based primarily on five case studies, by way of documentation and interviews. In addition, the study draws on data collected on 101 consortia and consortium agreements from 50 consortia. The thesis develops the theoretical understanding of meta-organisations and their organisational conditions and implications. Meta-organisation theory, thus far, has focused mainly on the implications following from having organisations as members. This thesis suggests adding to this theory the implications created by constitutional membership, that is, members that constitute the organisation. Constitutional membership makes a difference in three ways: it creates a clear boundary of the meta-organisation; it assumes collective ownership of the meta-organisation; and it makes possible the utilising of indirect resources – the resources of the member organisations, and most importantly their personnel – by the meta-organisation. In addition, the thesis develops a conceptual framework of steering processes, combining governance, management and administration. This framework shows how both decisions and mutual adjustment in top-down, bottom-up, and horizontal directions steer meta-organisations. The framework may, however, be fruitfully used to study other organisations as well. The findings from the analysis of the steering processes show that the utilisation of indirect resources decentralises the governance, management and administration of activities to the participants of member organisations who are undertaking these activities. The results also demonstrate that the governance, management and administration of undivided tasks centralises to those with formal management responsibility. In addition, the analysis shows how control and granting are avoided, externalised or formalised to deal with lack of hierarchical authority. These and other findings of the study seek to refine and extend the hypothesised conditions of meta-organisation theory.
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Trade associations work to influence regulation, government policy, and public opinion on behalf of the collective needs and objectives of their members. They also serve as agents for disseminating and exchanging information within industries, and often act as informal regulators by setting voluntary standards of behavior for industry members. Yet, despite the obvious importance of trade associations for firms, industries, and societies, management and organization researchers have devoted surprisingly little attention to understanding them. In this essay, we argue that researchers must develop a deeper understanding of their purpose, sources of influence, and impact on companies, industries, and society. We go on to discuss three examples of areas of management research—institutional theory, collective identity, and nonmarket strategy—where we believe trade associations are of particular relevance and where existing theoretical perspectives remain limited without an explicit consideration of these important organizations.
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This study examined the relationship between various characteristics of organizations-including resource inputs, context, rules and regulations, goals, climate, and informal systems-and the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations. Data were collected from 172 secondary schools Discriminant analyses of the data with the organizations categorized along effectiveness and efficiency domains revealed that different sets or configurations of organizational characteristics were meaningfully related to the different organizational classifications.
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In this article, we theorize a novel approach to addressing the world's grand challenges based on the philosophical tradition of American pragmatism and the sociological concept of robust action. Grounded in prior empirical organizational research, we identify three robust strategies that organizations can employ in tackling issues such as climate change and poverty alleviation: participatory architecture, multivocal inscriptions and distributed experimentation. We demonstrate how these strategies operate, the manner in which they are linked, the outcomes they generate, and why they are applicable for resolving grand challenges. We conclude by discussing our contributions to research on robust action and grand challenges, as well as some implications for research on stakeholder theory, institutional theory and theories of valuation.
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Since Evan's (1965) call for a theory of inter-organisational relations (IOR), research into IOR has proliferated as inter-organisational practice has become more commonplace. We argue that knowledge about IOR has developed in fragmented and highly differentiated ways, despite periodic attempts to review knowledge and set an agenda for future research. Building on Culpan's (2009) prospectus for research into strategic business alliances in this journal, we argue for a more systematic, concerted programme of consolidation and abstraction of knowledge as a specific accumulation dynamic. We suggest two ways of cutting IOR's fragmentary web of knowledge. The first orders knowledge by researchers' primary substantive interests; the second derives conceptual foci from our definition of IOR. We outline three levels of work to link existing IOR knowledge. We see these as cumulative and increasingly strong, and, together, as forming the basis for consolidation of knowledge in an IOR vademecum.
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This article reviews and discusses the empirical literature on interorganizational networks at the network level of analysis, or what is sometimes referred to as “whole” networks. An overview of the distinction between egocentric and network-level research is first introduced. Then, a review of the modest literature on whole networks is undertaken, along with a summary table outlining the main findings based on a thorough literature search. Finally, the authors offer a discussion concerning what future directions might be taken by researchers hoping to expand this important, but understudied, topic.
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This article explores and elucidates the activities of transnational networks as regulatory intermediaries. Specifically, I examine their role in the regulation of banks, as far as they facilitate exchanges between global regulators (GRs)—such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision or the Financial Stability Board—and local regulators (LRs), such as national regulatory agencies or legislatures. I find that transgovernmental network intermediaries produce benefits both for GRs, which employ them to disseminate their rules; and for LRs, which use them to obtain influence, advice, and information. Networks promote collaborative intermediation horizontally, without compromising sovereignty, and require only soft organizational structures with low operational costs. Network intermediation is a key ingredient in facilitating local regulatory activities and in providing tools and cognitive resources to LRs. Network intermediaries blur the global-local boundary, however, as some of their members operate as LRs and simultaneously participate directly in GRs.
Conference Paper
This article is an exploration of the ways in which 'resourcing' – the way in which resources are acquired or made available – contributes to the character, capacity and governance of a meta-organization, a function of which is collective action. Resourcing forms, we argue, a constitutive element of meta-organization that should be considered in understanding meta-organization design and governance. We consider the treatment of resourcing of inter-organizational forms in meta-organization theory and also in adjacent literatures on strategic alliances and 'whole networks'. Our analysis considers resources in two ways, although we place the main emphasis on the resourcing of the meta-organization. The acquisition of resources by the meta-organization, or alternatively, the contribution of resources to the meta-organization has been given limited attention in the emerging theoretical literature (Ahrne and Brunsson, 2005, 2008; Gulati, Puranam, et al., 2012). Here, and with echoes of resource dependency theory (Pfeffer and Salancik, 2003), we consider how the source of resources (from member organizations or from external stakeholders) and the meta-organization's degree control or discretion over the resources contributed are related to the nature of the meta-organization and to the facets of formal organization that have been emphasised by Ahrne and Brunnson, especially. These other essential/constitutive elements of meta-organization include membership and boundaries, centre of authority and decision-making, and accountability, monitoring and sanctioning. We draw on Gulati, Wohlgezogen, et al's (2012) distinction between 'cooperation' and 'coordination' to locate this discussion about the design and governance of meta-organization. We conclude that the source and the control over resources are important elements which can explain some of the organizing of meta-organizations. We also raise, more tentatively, some arguments about the ways in which the properties of resources might affect governance – and especially aspects of coordination. In particular, we note that different types of resource contribution might be expected to create issues for the way in which (collective) value is produced.
Chapter
The idea of strategic networks was first presented in 1980s when Jarillo (1988) and others argued that rather than between firms, competition is something that occurs between networks. After all these years there still seems to be one question unanswered: How does one define and capture what is good or excellent level of performance for a network? The point of departure for this development project was our partner firm’s interest in getting a comprehensive view of its network’s current state. The value that was expected to be realized was an improved focus on network-level development by making explicit the network-level performance and the mechanisms that have an effect on this performance. In this chapter, we present the theoretical grounding for comprehensive network performance evaluation, show results of a pilot study conducted in four supplier networks, and outline the managerial practices by which this kind of information becomes valuable in network settings.
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This article summarizes a cultural perspective on trade associations and its implications for understanding their organizational features, roles, and functions. I suggest that fruitful future research should examine over time the conditions under which particular association activities become consequential, and compare trade association organization with other forms of econonomic governance and nonprofit association.
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We explore the organizational characteristics of trade associations (TAs) and suggest theoretical approaches for undertaking research into or involving TAs in management and organization studies. Through emphasizing the role of TAs within and between industries and at the interface of business and society, we consider how TAs generate meaning and influence.
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In a seminal paper, Ahrne and Brunsson coined the word‘meta-organization’. More than a label, this worddescribes a challenging and stimulating concept that can be valuable for management studies when approached withdifferent units of analysis and research methodologies.‘Meta-organization’refers to a central phenomenon in thecontemporary world, namely the increasing importance of collective action at the level of organizations, ensuing frommajor issues related to sustainable development, human rights and corporate responsibility. The concept calls for newforms of theorizing of global collective action. The diversity and heterogeneity of meta-organizations raisemethodological issues that require original approaches. In this paper, we show the novelty of the concept of meta-organization; we then address the methodological difficulties and propose a research agenda on meta-organizationsfor management studies.
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As developing countries move from policy to implementing adaptation to climate change, formal operational structures are emerging that exceed the expertise of any one actor. We refer to these arrangements as ‘meta-organisations’ that comprise many autonomous component organisations tackling adaptation. The meta-organisations set standards, define purposes, and specify appropriate means-ends criteria for delivering adaptation. Using empirical data from the three cases, Nepal, Pakistan and Ghana, the study identifies and analyses six attributes of the meta and component organisational structures. We argue that organisational structures are crucial to understanding adaptation, specifying policy and implementation. Our analysis demonstrates that while each country promotes similar objectives, the emerging structures are quite distinct, shaped by country-specific attributes and issues that lead to different outcomes. Nepal’s priority for a formal process has come at the cost of delayed implementation. Pakistan’s devolved approach lacks legitimacy to scale up the process nationally. Ghana’s use of existing decentralised structures and budgets relegates adaptation below other development priorities. These divergent structures arise from the different needs for legitimacy and accountability, and the relative priority attached to adaptation against other needs.
Book
The Oxford Handbook of Inter-Organizational Relations provides a structured overview of Inter-Organizational Relations (IOR). IOR, the study of Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures, Partnerships, Networks, and other forms of relationship between organizations, is a field of study that has burgeoned over the last four decades, but is fragmented, drawing contributions from a wide variety of disciplines, theoretical bases, and sectorial interests. The material is organized into three main sections. The first section relates to research that focuses on particular manifestations of IORs such as industry, supply, policy and project networks, public and voluntary sector partnerships, strategic alliances, and so on. The second section relates to research that stems from distinct disciplinary or theoretical bases, including social networks, evolutionary theory, transaction cost economics, management process, psychology, critical theory, political theory, economic geography, and the legal perspective. The third section focuses on key topics in contemporary IOR topics or those that will become so in the future. These include, trust, power, development interventions, social capital, learning and knowledge, dynamics and change, and evaluation.
Book
'This book provides a diverse set of perspectives on the topic. It is very useful reading for anyone interested in understanding coopetition in multiple contexts.' - Devi R. Gnyawali, Virginia Tech, US. © Saïd Yami, Sandro Castaldo, Giovanni Battista Dagnino and Frédéric Le Roy 2010. All rights reserved.
Article
Meta-organizations and changes in management practices. An applied study in the health care field This paper deals with the effects of the implementation of meta-organizations on management practices in social and health institutions. The first part presents a theoretical background for understanding the concept of meta-organization and its impact on the boundaries of the organization, and on the evolution of management practices. The second part presents the results of an empirical study, based on two cases which complement each other. Then, we point out specific issues in the way organizations decide to create a meta-organization. Common points also appear such as increased coordination functions and systems of self-control governance.
Article
L'article étudie l’action collective des entreprises sous l’angle des dispositifs. Pour analyser ces derniers, il utilise les concepts de méta-organisation et d’organisation partielle mis en avant par Ahrne et Brunsson (2008 ; 2010). S’appuyant sur le cas d’un secteur, celui du pétrole, il montre que contrairement à ce qui avait été anticipé en raison de la globalisation et de l’affaiblissement des États et de la négociation collective, ces dispositifs continuent à être utilisés à grande échelle par les entreprises, notamment pour traiter les questions de responsabilité sociale et de développement durable en relation avec les différentes parties-prenantes. En effet, sur le plan stratégique, ces dispositifs d’action collective permettent de gérer les effets de réputation des entreprises, les signaux faibles venant de l’environnement et le désamorçage des conflits avec les parties prenantes. Sur le plan institutionnel, l’invention de nouvelles formes de dispositifs depuis les années 1960 – les méta-organisations corporatives thématiques et multi-parties-prenantes – s’est faite dans une dynamique de complémentarité, les dispositifs s’appuyant les uns sur les autres et se complétant pour permettre aux entreprises une large gamme de stratégies collectives.
Conference Paper
Organisations which have other organisations as their member are called meta-organisations. These organisations are underestimated and meta-organisation theory is both needed and extremely helpful for understanding the conditions specific to these organisations. The metaorganisation theory developed by Ahrne and Brunsson (2005, 2008) has therefore been a very important step. This article, however, presents a critique on the theory developed – especially concerning the discrepancy between the definition of meta-organisations and the assertions made. The main argument thereby is that meta-organisations as organisations do not only differ from other organisations because they consist of organisations (and not individuals), like Ahrne and Brunsson propose, they also, maybe even more essentially, differ from other organisations because these organisations have constitutional members. The combination of constitutional members and organisations as these members is important for understanding the particular conditions under which meta-organisations function. This article will therefore present three assertions which are needed to fully comprehend the impact of constitutional members: organisations with constitutional membership have (1) closed boundaries, (2) low stratification, and (3) they can utilise indirect resources. In addition to these three assertions, the assertions related to organisations as members (instead of individuals) developed by Ahrne and Brunsson are reviewed and six of their assertions were seen to help understand or further specify difference between associations (individuals as constitutional members) and meta-organisations (organisations as constitutional members). An overview of the conditions which are hypothesised on the basis of the individual and combined assertions is presented at the end of the paper.
Article
Although organizational theorists have given much attention to how environments shape organizations, they have given much less attention to how organizations mold their environments. This paper demonstrates what organizational scholars could contribute if they were to study how organizations shape environments. Specifically, the paper synthesizes work by historians, political scientists and students of corporate political action to document how corporations systematically built an institutional field during the 1970s and 1980s to exert greater influence on the US Federal government. The resulting network, composed of nine distinct populations of organizations and the relationships that bind them into a system, channels and amplifies corporate political influence, while simultaneously shielding corporations from appearing to directly influence Congress and the administration.
Article
The difficulties nation states face when attempting to use traditional legal means to cope with transnational phenom-ena such as environmental degradation, international labor conditions, and global trade have created an opportunity for the emergence of new types of regulations. These rules are often issued by organizations that produce voluntary measures such as standards and action plans to influence the behavior of individuals and institutions. These are in many cases meta-organizations that have other organizations rather than individuals as members. They are im-portant links in the process of creating and diffusing dominant definitions in the "ideoscape" of influential policy con-cepts such as sustainable development. This article explores how two meta-organizations, Fairtrade International (FLO) and Organic Forum, shape the concepts of fair trade and organic food by providing ideas and content to the ideoscape of sustainable development. We argue that this process takes place by governance through bureaucrati-zation in which fair trade and organic food become formalized, precisely defined, and made visible. This in turn de-termines how—or even if—the social dimension of sustainability can be made into policy. Furthermore, we find ex-planations in these processes as to why the social dimension of sustainability tends to be the most underdeveloped. We conclude that bureaucratization is also a form of politics, although not one that is as easily recognizable as an open power struggle.
Article
Tensions are natural in coopetitive business relationships that simultaneously involve cooperation and competition. The purpose of this study is to investigate how tensions are managed in coopetitive business relationships and examine the potential outcomes of the management of such tensions. The study will focus on various kinds of coopetitive relationships and how the management of the different tensions produces specific outcomes. The empirical study is based on comparative case study research on coopetitive business networks that features two different kinds of cases. The findings of the study contribute to coopetition research by identifying several new perspectives on tensions. Different levels of cooperation and competition in a coopetitive relationship as well as other underlying issues cannot alone determine tensions, but aspects such as the management of tensions are crucial. Most tensions are managed by using styles of competition and avoidance and result in mixed outcomes, which implies both positive and negative perceptions.
Article
We add a new perspective to research on organizational response to non-paradigmatic change by studying an irregular yet increasingly important form of organizing: meta-organizations (MOs), i.e., associations whose members are organizations, rather than individuals. We use extensive revelatory field data from three longitudinal case studies of German industry associations and their reactions to the emergence of online trade to show that MOs, similar to other organizations, respond with inertia when they are confronted with discontinuous breakthroughs. However, our data also demonstrate that MO inertia is idiosyncratic in that it stems from distinct MO characteristics, particularly a culture of consensus and an elitist identity, which in turn reinforce MOs’ lack of champions, limited environmental intimacy, and protracted decision-making. We also find that inertial forces in MOs are partially offset by various enablers of change that are either anchored in a given MO's constitution or embedded in its routines. We contribute to existing research on discontinuous change and theory of MOs by inducing a formal model of MO inertia and its underlying mechanisms. Our mid-range theory has important implications for the administration of MOs, in particular during periods of environmental turbulence.
Article
This article provides conceptual foundations for analyzing organizations comprising multiple legally autonomous entities, which we call meta-organizations. We assess the antecedents of the emergence of such collectives and the design choices they entail. The article identifies key parameters on which such meta-organizations' designs differ from each other. It also presents a taxonomy that elucidates how such forms of collective action vary and the constraints they must address to be successful. We conclude with implications for research on meta-organizational design. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Multi-organizational partnerships are now an important means of governing and managing public programmes. They typically involve business, community and not-for-profit agencies alongside government bodies. Partnerships are frequently contrasted with competitive markets and bureaucratic hierarchies. A more complex reality is revealed once partnerships as an organizational form are distinguished from networks as a mode of social co-ordination or governance. Data from studies of UK urban regeneration partnerships are used to develop a four-stage partnership life cycle: pre-partnership collaboration; partnership creation; partnership programme delivery; and partnership termination. A different mode of governance - network, market or hierarchy - predominates at each stage. Separating organizational form from mode of governance enables a richer understanding of multi-organizational activity and provides the basis from which theory and practice can be developed. The key challenge for partnerships lies in managing the interaction of different modes of governance, which at some points will generate competition and at other points collaboration.
Article
While many aspects of the collaborative process have been discussed in the management literature, the connection between collaboration and the dynamics of institutional fields has remained largely unconsidered. Yet, collaboration is an important arena for inter–organizational interaction and, therefore, a potentially important context for the process of structuration upon which institutional fields depend. In this paper, we argue that institutionalization and collaboration are interdependent; institutional fields provide the rules and resources upon which collaboration is constructed, while collaboration provides a context for the ongoing processes of structuration that sustain the institutional fields of the participants.