Transforming Organizations

SAGE Publications Ltd
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Sociology Today: Social transformations in a Globalizing World, 2012, 1, pp. 197 - 212
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In thi chapter I wilJ fust outline what was for much of the post-war era the dominant conventional approach to thinking about organizations, known as contingency theory. When contingen y theory was first developed in the 1960s, looser organic organizations were a novelty and the donlinant form was that of large mechanistic bUJ'eaucracie . How times change. Today, in U1e We t, bureaucra ies are giving way to new organizational fonns that are much closer to organic organizations. Many organizations today are increasing ly adopting a network form, with many of their inputs and ac tivi tie. hived off to other organizations with which they network. The most radical form of network is a rhizome, a freeflowing system of organic rools preading and colonizing available environments. As older form manufacturing is increasingly shifted to organizations in Asia, the best hope for organ izations and jobs in the West may weU be a network of rhizomalic organizations, focused on design, urrounding the global retailers and brand that disseminate the outsourced cheaply provided goods from Asia.
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