A World of Meta-Organizations: Dynamics and Complexities of Meta-Organizing

Call for Papers for M@n@gement Special issue A World of Meta-Organizations: Dynamics and Complexities of Meta-Organizing – 01 Décembre 2019

M@n@gement Special issue

A World of Meta-Organizations: Dynamics and Complexities of Meta-Organizing

Guest editors
Héloïse Berkowitz (CNRS TSM Research): heloise.berkowitz@tsm-education.fr
Nils Brunsson (Uppsala University): nils.brunsson@fek.uu.se
Michael Grothe-Hammer (Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg): mgh@hsu-hh.de
Mikaela Sundberg (Stockholm University): mikaela.sundberg@sociology.su.se
Bertrand Valiorgue (Université de Clermont-Ferrand): bertrand.valiorgue@uca.fr

Call for Papers
Meta-organizations—that is, organizations that have organizations as their members—are an entrenched phenomenon of significant and increasing importance. Nowadays, there are hundreds of thousands of diverse meta-organizations: their number has been escalating and their forms have been evolving rapidly (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008). Many meta-organizations gather firms (e.g. Global Business Initiative or Airlines for Europe), some gather sustainability standards and accreditation bodies (e.g. the standard association ISEAL), or a combination of universities, businesses, civil society initiatives in multi-stakeholder meta-organizations (e.g. Fair Labor Association). Sports associations are meta-organizations. All international governmental organizations, standards organizations or industry associations can be treated as meta-organizations. Associations of fab labs, living labs and cooperatives also constitute examples of meta-organizations. Hence, almost all individual-based organizations and virtually all states join multiple meta-organizations, thus meta-organizing their environment through several layers. The meta-organizational phenomenon appears therefore far-reaching and heterogeneous, playing various crucial roles in modern society but raising dramatic governance challenges, as the exemplar cases of the European Union or FIFA show.

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). Meta-organizations also play emerging roles such as governing cities’ transition towards sustainability, facilitating peacebuilding in conflictual regions or managing specific negative externalities (Rasche, 2012).

With their work, Ahrne and Brunsson laid the ground for a new understanding of an increasingly broad and heterogeneous variety of this modern organizational phenomenon – organizations of organizations. Building on this, scholars have, for instance, started inquiring a broad variety of meta-organization-related phenomena such as Corporate Social Responsibility (Berkowitz, Bucheli, & Dumez, 2017), social movements (den Hond, de Bakker, & Doh, 2015 Karlberg & Jacobsson, 2015), trade associations (Rajwani, Lawton, & Phillips, 2015), coopetition (Azzam & Berkowitz, 2018), sustainability (Valente & Oliver, 2018), organizational change and inertia (König, Schulte, & Enders, 2012), organization without actorhood (Grothe-Hammer, 2018), partnerships (Cropper & Bor, 2018), categories (Brankovic, 2018) or the European Union (Kerwer, 2013; Murdoch, 2015).

Meta-organizing happens on different levels (meta-meta-organizations and more) and can have varying degrees. Internally, meta-organizations are often only partially organized (Ahrne, Brunsson, & Seidl, 2016; Järvi, Almpanopoulou, & Ritala, 2018). For instance, meta-organizations often lack monitoring and sanctioning instruments. Partial meta-organizing can be strategic for member-organizations and may take a broad diversity of forms. Externally, meta-organizations often organize among each other in various kinds of partially organized constellations – combining different degrees and layers of organization and meta-organization (Brunsson, Gustafsson, & Hallström, 2018). Moreover, there seem to exist partially organized interorganizational constellations that cannot be adequately grasped by conventional network approaches but have not been acknowledged by meta-organization theory so far (Grothe-Hammer, 2018).

However, despite this emerging body of works, the majority of organization scholars remain focused on individual-based organizations as a level of analysis, thereby relying on the entrenched institutional and network approaches to study what exists beyond and outside of individual-based organizations (Ahrne & Brunsson, 2011; Murdoch, 2015). As a consequence, we still know surprisingly little about the phenomenon of meta-organization and its consequences (Berkowitz & Dumez, 2016)

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. They can address the following types of questioning (but are not limited to):

• Motivations, natures and processes of meta-organizing: when and why are meta-organizations created and what are the reasons for their specific form? How are they governed, i.e. how are decisions made in meta-organizations and what are they about? What are the similarities and dissimilarities of governing a meta-organization compared to an individual-based organization? How do meta-organizations evolve, and how does their evolution affect their members? What are the effects of entry and/or exit of members? What are the roles and impacts of resources?

• Governance by meta-organizations: how do meta-organizations contribute to shaping industries, fields and other actors like cities? How efficient are they at regulating their members? And how to assess meta-organizational efficiency? Who are meta-organizations and their members accountable to and how to ensure their accountability?

• Meta-organizing for sustainability: Under which conditions can meta-organizations enhance sustainability? Which societal issues and grand challenges do meta-organizations help address? At which levels (local, regional, transnational, global) do meta-organizations operate to tackle certain challenges? To which degrees are meta-organizations a more efficient device to provide solutions than more traditional forms like state bureaucracies?

• The dark side of meta-organizing: how and when do meta-organizations become dormant? Under which conditions do they fully disappear? How do the increase and complexity of (partial) meta-organizing affect environments and member-organizations? What does irresponsible meta-organization or irresponsible meta-organizing mean?

• Varying degrees and levels of (partial) meta-organizing: To what extent are meta-organizations partially organized? Why do members selectively combine certain elements of partial organization when they meta-organize? What are the effects of multiplying membership in meta-organizations? Of multiplying degrees and levels of partial meta-organizing? In which constellations do meta-organizations (partially) organize themselves? What are the categorical boundaries of meta-organizations?

We look forward to receiving submissions by experienced as well as early career scholars. Contributors may also submit to the Toulouse School of Management “Meta-, Macro-, Partial Organization” Workshop in Toulouse in May 2019 and to the 2019 EGOS Sub-theme 37: “the Intricacies of Meta-Organizations” or sub-theme 60 “Organization and Decision: The Theoretical Challenge of a Changing World”.

If you have an idea for a possible paper that may fit this call and would like to discuss it initially, do not hesitate in contacting one of the guest editors.

Full call available here https://www.strategie-aims.com/main_events/1757/download_program

Submission Process
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: December 1st, 2019

Submission period: November 1st, 2019 to December 1st, 2019

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with M@n@gement author guidelines available on the journal’s website.

Submit your papers online http://www.management-aims.com/pg-40-article-submission-rules-of-the-scientific-review-of-management-strategy-and-organisation-m@n@gement-.html

Please mention in the cover letter that your submission is for the special issue on MO

References
Acquier, A., Valiorgue, B., & Daudigeos, T. (2015). Sharing the Shared Value: A Transaction Cost Perspective on Strategic CSR Policies in Global Value Chains. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2820-0
Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2008). Meta-organizations. Cheltenham, Glos, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2011). Organization outside organizations: the significance of partial organization. Organization, 18(1), 83–104.
Ahrne, G., Brunsson, N., & Seidl, D. (2016). Resurrecting organization by going beyond organizations. European Management Journal, 34(2), 93–101.
Azzam, J. E., & Berkowitz, H. (2018). Patterns of coopetition in meta-organizations. In A.-S. Fernandez, P. Chiambaretto, F. Le Roy, & W. Czakon (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Coopetition Strategies (pp. 280–291).
Berkowitz, H. (2018). Meta-organizing firms’ capabilities for sustainable innovation: a conceptual framework. Journal of Cleaner Production, 175, 420–430.
Berkowitz, H., & Bor, S. (2018). Why Meta-Organizations Matter: A Response to Lawton et al. and Spillman. Journal of Management Inquiry, 27(2), 204–211.
Berkowitz, H., Bucheli, M., & Dumez, H. (2017). Collective CSR strategy and the role of meta-organizations: a case study of the oil and gas industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(4), 753–769.
Berkowitz, H., & Dumez, H. (2016). The Concept of Meta-Organization: Issues for Management Studies. European Management Review, 13(2), 149–156.
Brankovic, J. (2018). How do meta-organizations affect extra-organizational boundaries? the case of university associations. In L. Ringel, P. Hiller, & C. Zietsma (Eds.), Towards Permeable Organizational Boundaries? (p. 19).
Brunsson, N., Gustafsson, I., & Hallström, K. T. (2018). Markets, Trust, and the Construction of Macro-Organizations. In N. Brunsson & M. Jutterström (Eds.), Organizing and Reorganizing Markets (pp. 136–152). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carmagnac, L., & Carbone, V. (2018). Making supply networks more sustainable ‘together’: the role of meta-organisations. Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, 0(0), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/16258312.2018.1554163
Chaudhury, A. S., Ventresca, M. J., Thornton, T. F., Helfgott, A., Sova, C., Baral, P., … Ligthart, J. (2016). Emerging meta-organisations and adaptation to global climate change: Evidence from implementing adaptation in Nepal, Pakistan and Ghana. Global Environmental Change, 38, 243–257.
Cropper, S., & Bor, S. (2018). (Un)bounding the Meta-Organization: Co-Evolution and Compositional Dynamics of a Health Partnership. Administrative Sciences, 8(3), 1–19.
den Hond, F., de Bakker, F. G., & Doh, J. (2015). What prompts companies to collaboration with NGOs? Recent evidence from the Netherlands. Business & Society, 54(2), 187–228.
Grothe-Hammer, M. (2018). Organization without actorhood: Exploring a neglected phenomenon. European Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2018.07.009
Järvi, K., Almpanopoulou, A., & Ritala, P. (2018). Organization of knowledge ecosystems: Prefigurative and partial forms. Research Policy, 47(8), 1523–1537. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.05.007
Karlberg, E., & Jacobsson, K. (2015). A Meta-organizational Perspective on the Europeanization of Civil Society: The Case of the Swedish Women’s Lobby. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(4), 1438–1459.
Kerwer, D. (2013). International organizations as meta-organizations: The case of the European Union. Journal of International Organizations Studies, 4(2), 40–53.
König, A., Schulte, M., & Enders, A. (2012). Inertia in response to non-paradigmatic change: The case of meta-organizations. Research Policy, 41(8), 1325–1343.
Murdoch, Z. (2015). Organization Theory and the Study of European Union Institutions: Lessons and Opportunities. Organization Studies, 0170840615585342.
Rajwani, T., Lawton, T. C., & Phillips, N. (2015). The “Voice of Industry”: Why management researchers should pay more attention to trade associations. Strategic Organization, 13(3), 224–232.
Rasche, A. (2012). Global Policies and Local Practice: Loose and Tight Couplings in Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(4), 679–708.
Rasche, A., Bakker, F., & Moon, J. (2013). Complete and Partial Organizing for Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(4), 651–663.
Spillman, L. (2017). Meta-Organization Matters. Journal of Management Inquiry, Online Preview.
Valente, M., & Oliver, C. (2018). Meta-Organization Formation and Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Organization Science. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2017.1191

Workshop “Meta-, Macro-, and Partial Organization: Advances in Research and Theory”, Toulouse School of Management, May 13-14, 2019

We are delighted to invite you to a paper development workshop on “Meta-, Macro-, and Partial Organization: advances in Research and theory” at the Toulouse School of Management, Toulouse.
The workshop will be help on May 13th and 14th. Deadline for submission is February 15th.

We are very grateful for having obtained the financial support of the MSH Toulouse

logo-MSH-financement-projet

Call for Papers
Recent assessments see organization theory in a deep crisis. While the worldwide number of organizations as well as their relevance for nearly every area of modern society has been growing rapidly (Bromley & Meyer, 2015; Perrow, 1991), the scholarly interest in organizations as the unit of analysis is in decline (Ahrne, Brunsson, & Seidl, 2016). Moreover, “organizations are morphing furiously into new forms” (Barley, 2016) and established theories are increasingly unable to grasp empirical reality (Davis, 2015). To counteract this development, Ahrne and Brunsson (2011) suggested to put decisions back to the core of organization theory by declaring decisions the fundamental aspect of organization. In a series of works building on this common ground, they and others proposed to expand organization theory (Ahrne & Brunsson, Forthcoming; Ahrne et al., 2016; Ahrne, Brunsson, & Seidl, 2017) by combining the classical notion of formal organization with the notions of meta-organization (i.e. an organization that has organizations as its members; Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008; Berkowitz & Bor, 2018), partial organization (i.e. certain decided types of social order that can be seen as organizational; Ahrne & Brunsson, 2011), and macro-organization (i.e. completely organized sets of organizations and meta-organizations that do not constitute a formal organization; Brunsson, Gustafsson, & Hallström, 2018).
With their work, Ahrne, Brunsson, and colleagues laid the ground for a new understanding of a broad variety of modern organizational phenomena and their manifold facets – thereby offering a way out of organization theory’s existential crisis (Apelt et al., 2017). Building on this ground, scholars have, for instance, started inquiring a broad variety of phenomena such as Corporate Social Responsibility (Berkowitz, Bucheli, & Dumez, 2017; Rasche, Bakker, & Moon, 2013), social movements (den Hond, de Bakker, & Doh, 2015; Karlberg & Jacobsson, 2015), markets (Ahrne, Aspers, & Brunsson, 2015), crowdfunding (Berkowitz & Souchaud, 2017; Nielsen, 2018), coopetition (Azzam & Berkowitz, 2018), sustainability (Valente & Oliver, 2018), organization without actorhood (Grothe-Hammer, 2018), partnerships (Cropper & Bor, 2018) or the European Union (Kerwer, 2013; Murdoch, 2015).
The workshop on “Meta-, macro-, and partial organization” wants to embrace and advance this line of work. It is intended to bring together these related but so far way too often separated debates on formal, partial, and meta-organization – since these share a common conceptual basis.
We 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.
We look forward to receiving submissions by experienced as well as early career scholars, and to an intensive and fruitful discussion during the workshop. Participants are expected to be present throughout the workshop and actively contribute to the discussions.
The deadline of submissions of extended abstracts (3-7 pages) is February 15th, 2019. Submissions must be sent to mmporganizations@gmail.com Notification of acceptance is sent out no later than February 28th, 2019.
In case of acceptance, a revised paper or paper draft (10-25 pages) must be sent by April 22nd, 2019, for distribution among workshop participants. By submitting a paper, the submitters also agree on commenting on at least one other paper during the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Toulouse School of Management (TSM) during May 13 & 14, 2019. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the workshop organizers Héloïse Berkowitz ( heloise.berkowitz@tsm-education.fr ) and Michael Grothe-Hammer ( mgh@hsu-hh.de ).

Best meta-organization related manuscripts will be encouraged to apply to an upcoming Special Issue of M@n@gement (http://www.management-aims.com/). More information on the call to come.

Don’t forget to tweet using the #MMPorganizing and #metaorganization

Scientific committee:
Göran Ahrne (Stockholm University), Héloïse Berkowitz (CNRS TSM-Research), Sanne Bor (Hanken School of Economics), Frank den Hond (Hanken School of Economics), Michael Grothe-Hammer (Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg), Stefan Kirchner (Technische Universität Berlin), Dennis Schoeneborn (Copenhagen Business School), David Seidl (University of Zurich), Mikaela Sundberg (Stockholm University)

References
Ahrne, G., Aspers, P., & Brunsson, N. (2015). The Organization of Markets. Organization Studies, 36(1), 7–27.
Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (Eds.). (Forthcoming). Organization outside organizations. The abundance of partial organization in social life. Cambridge University Press.
Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2008). Meta-organizations. Cheltenham, Glos, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2011). Organization outside organizations: the significance of partial organization. Organization, 18(1), 83–104.
Ahrne, G., Brunsson, N., & Seidl, D. (2016). Resurrecting organization by going beyond organizations. European Management Journal, 34(2), 93–101.
Ahrne, G., Brunsson, N., & Seidl, D. (2017). On the fruitfulness of the concept of partial organization: A rejoinder to Apelt et al. European Management Journal, 35(3), 297–299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2017.04.003
Apelt, M., Besio, C., Corsi, G., von Groddeck, V., Grothe-Hammer, M., & Tacke, V. (2017). Resurrecting organization without renouncing society: A response to Ahrne, Brunsson and Seidl. European Management Journal, 35(1), 8–14.
Azzam, J. E., & Berkowitz, H. (2018). Patterns of coopetition in meta-organizations. In A.-S. Fernandez, P. Chiambaretto, F. Le Roy, & W. Czakon (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Coopetition Strategies (pp. 280–291).
Barley, S. R. (2016). 60th Anniversary Essay: Ruminations on How We Became a Mystery House and How We Might Get Out. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001839215624886
Berkowitz, H., & Bor, S. (2018). Why Meta-Organizations Matter: A Response to Lawton et al. and Spillman. Journal of Management Inquiry, 27(2), 204–211.
Berkowitz, H., Bucheli, M., & Dumez, H. (2017). Collective CSR strategy and the role of meta-organizations: a case study of the oil and gas industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(4), 753–769.
Berkowitz, H., & Souchaud, A. (2017). When business collective action fills an organizational gap in public policymaking. 33rd EGOS Colloquium 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sub-Theme 24.
Bromley, P., & Meyer, J. W. (2015). Hyper-Organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Brunsson, N., Gustafsson, I., & Hallström, K. T. (2018). Markets, Trust, and the Construction of Macro-Organizations. In N. Brunsson & M. Jutterström (Eds.), Organizing and Reorganizing Markets (pp. 136–152). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cropper, S., & Bor, S. (2018). (Un)bounding the Meta-Organization: Co-Evolution and Compositional Dynamics of a Health Partnership. Administrative Sciences, 8(3), 1–19.
Davis, G. F. (2015). Celebrating Organization Theory: The After-Party. Journal of Management Studies, 52(2), 309–319.
den Hond, F., de Bakker, F. G., & Doh, J. (2015). What prompts companies to collaboration with NGOs? Recent evidence from the Netherlands. Business & Society, 54(2), 187–228.
Grothe-Hammer, M. (2018). Organization without actorhood: Exploring a neglected phenomenon. European Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2018.07.009
Karlberg, E., & Jacobsson, K. (2015). A Meta-organizational Perspective on the Europeanization of Civil Society: The Case of the Swedish Women’s Lobby. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(4), 1438–1459.
Kerwer, D. (2013). International organizations as meta-organizations: The case of the European Union. Journal of International Organizations Studies, 4(2), 40–53.
Murdoch, Z. (2015). Organization Theory and the Study of European Union Institutions: Lessons and Opportunities. Organization Studies, 0170840615585342.
Nielsen, K. R. (2018). Crowdfunding through a partial organization lens-The co-dependent organization. European Management Journal.
Perrow, C. (1991). A society of organizations. Theory and Society, 20(6), 725–762.
Rasche, A., Bakker, F., & Moon, J. (2013). Complete and Partial Organizing for Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(4), 651–663.
Valente, M., & Oliver, C. (2018). Meta-Organization Formation and Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Organization Science. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2017.1191

Partners of the workshop
Partners

EGOS 2019 in Edinburgh: A subtheme on “The Intricacies of Meta-Organizations”

selective focus photography of cannon and buildings

Photo by John Smith on Pexels.com


As previously advertised, Nils Brunsson (Uppsala University), Héloïse Berkowitz (CNRS TSM Research) and Sanne Bor (Hanken School of Economics) will be hosting a sub-theme entitled “the Intricacies of Meta-Organizations” on all forms of collective action among organizations.

The objective of the subtheme is to develop new insights on meta-organizations and meta-organizing, to create and strengthen the basis for theorizing this kind of organization and organizing process. We also aim to connect meta-organization scholarship with other literatures, from trade association to inter-organizational relations.

You can find here a provisional call for papers.

More information on submissions are available on EGOS website from September 2018 onwards.

Deadline for submissions will be around the first half of January 2019.

We are waiting for your submissions ! Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. Feel free to circulate the call widely !

Subtheme on meta-organizations accepted to EGOS 2019

We are excited to announce that our subtheme on “The Intricacies of Meta-Organizations” has been accepted to EGOS 2019.

We look forward to seeing you all in Edinburg, and wait for your submission on all topics relative to meta-organizing collective action !

Call for papers soon to be available here !

Nils Brunsson, Héloïse Berkowitz, Sanne Bor

Follow us on twitter for more information !

Audio slide presentation of “meta-organizing capabilities for sustainable innovation”

I am very excited to introduce you to my latest Elsevier Audio Slide presentation of my paper “Meta-Organizing Firms’ Capabilities for Sustainable Innovation: a Conceptual Framework” published in the Journal of Cleaner Production

Abstract

Organizing practices at the collective level of firms and entrepreneurs, i.e. ‘meta-organizing’, is a necessity for the development and diffusion of sustainable innovations. This paper seeks to build a meta-organization approach of sustainable innovation’s governance. To do so, we conducted a three-stage literature review and analysis to 1) identify organizational capabilities that businesses need to acquire to develop sustainable innovations, 2) uncover attributes of meta-organizations as devices for governance, 3) relate these attributes to the capabilities for sustainable innovations. Our contributions are twofold: first we build a more comprehensive understanding of organizational capabilities, insisting on the overlooked importance of accountability, in addition to existing literature on anticipation, resilience, reflexivity, responsiveness and inclusion. Second, we highlight the key role of meta-organizations in facilitating the meta-governance of these capabilities. We propose a research agenda to further investigate these issues in several families of meta-organizations.

It is available here 

http://audioslides.elsevier.com//ViewerLarge.aspx?source=1&doi=10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.028

http://audioslides.elsevier.com//ViewerLarge.aspx?source=1&doi=10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.028

Call for Papers for the Inter-Organizational Collaboration-SIG mini-track at BAM2018

Organizations of Organizations – calling for cross-literature insights

Track organizers:
Sanne Bor (Hanken School of Economics and Vaasa University)
Héloïse Berkowitz (CNRS UMR 5303, Toulouse School of Management-Research and Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals)

Organizations of organizations, such as meta-organizations, multi-partner alliances, consortia, trade associations, business associations, formalized networks, and coalitions, are an important phenomenon in contemporary society. They contribute, among other things, to the creation of standards, the self-steering of industries, sharing of R&D and other major costs, and coordination within and across sectors. These organizations exist in all domains and every single organization – firms, NGOs, universities – is a member of at least one other organization, in a form or another. More often than not, organizations belong to several different ones.

This widespread phenomenon has attracted attention in several literatures from organization studies to strategic management, resulting in a variety of terms being used. The phenomenon itself, i.e. the organization of organizations, however, is not the focus of any literature. This results in a fragmented conceptual understanding and independent, non-inclusive theory developments in silos (Cropper, Ebers, Huxham, & Ring, 2008, 2011). Berkowitz and Bor (2017) recently called for a collaborative effort to strengthen the theoretical basis for understanding these organizations by bringing together these different streams of literature. With this track, we aim to put this call into action.

While there is growing recognition of the features particular to these organizations (see e.g. Ahrne & Brunsson, 2005, 2008), we hope this track will bring new theoretical and practical insights about the consequences of such features. What do these features mean for key organization, administrative, management, political or sociological theories and meta-organization practice? Do they make a difference? If so, how? What empirical work supports this? Successful submissions to the track should explicitly discuss how the paper contributes to meta-organization theory and/or practice. A suggestive list of research questions includes:

  • How do meta-organizations change over time and what are the causes of change?
  • What are the implications of meta-organizations’ specific features on their organizational and managerial dynamics?
  • How do meta-organizations and their members mobilize, acquire, combine and use resources and what are the consequences thereof?
  • Which methods or processes of decision-making are used and how does this affect the meta-organization?
  • How can we measure meta-organizations’ performance and what would be the antecedents of such performance?
  • How may these organizations help to address major socio-environmental challenges such as climate change?
  • How may these organizations facilitate industry or societal transitions to sustainability?

 

Naturally, other perspectives and topics related to meta-organizations are also considered. Further, at the review stage, papers with a less optimal fit to this particular mini track will be considered for inclusion at the main track of the Special Interest Group on Inter-Organizational Collaboration.

 

You can submit a full or developmental paper:

15th January: Paper submission opens

28th February:  Paper submission closes

Find out more on: www.bam.ac.uk/bam2018

 

References

Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2005). Organizations and meta-organizations. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 21, 429–449.

Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2008). Meta-organizations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Berkowitz, H., & Bor, S. (2017). Why Meta-Organizations Matter: A Response to Lawton et al. and Spillman. Journal of Management Inquiry, 1056492617712895.

Cropper, S., Ebers, M., Huxham, C., & Ring, P. S. (Eds.). (2008). The Oxford handbook of inter-organizational relations. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

Cropper, S., Ebers, M., Huxham, C., & Ring, P. S. (2011). Packing more punch? Developing the field of inter-organisational relations. International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances, 2, 153–170.

CoP_BAM2018_IOC-SIG_Organizations of organizations

Meta-organizing firms’ capabilities for sustainable innovation: a conceptual framework

Announcing a publication: Berkowitz (2018), « Meta-organizing firms’ capabilities for sustainable innovation: a conceptual framework », Journal of Cleaner Production, forthcoming

Organizing practices at the collective level of firms and entrepreneurs, i.e. ‘meta-organizing’, is a necessity for the development and diffusion of sustainable innovations. This paper seeks to build a meta-organization approach of sustainable innovation’s governance. To do so, we conducted a three-stage literature review and analysis to 1) identify organizational capabilities that businesses need to acquire to develop sustainable innovations, 2) uncover attributes of meta-organizations as devices for governance, 3) relate these attributes to the capabilities for sustainable innovations. Our contributions are twofold: first we build a more comprehensive understanding of organizational capabilities, insisting on the overlooked importance of accountability, in addition to existing literature on anticipation, resilience, reflexivity, responsiveness and inclusion. Second, we highlight the key role of meta-organizations in facilitating the meta-governance of these capabilities. We propose a research agenda to further investigate these issues in several families of meta-organizations.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321491104_Meta-Organizing_Firms%27_Capabilities_for_Sustainable_Innovation_a_Conceptual_Framework

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095965261732958X

Why Meta-Organizations Matter: A Response to Lawton et al. and Spillman

Announcing the publication of :

Berkowitz H. and Bor S., 2017. Why Meta-Organizations Matter: A Response to Lawton et al. and Spillman. Journal of Management Inquiry, OnlineFirst.

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.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317411102_Why_Meta-Organizations_Matter_A_Response_to_Lawton_et_al_and_Spillman 

Co-constructing regulation: the role of a meta-organization

Last week at Abbé Grégoire Innovation Day, Antoine Souchaud and I presented a paper the role of a meta-organization in the collective construction of regulation in an emerging sector. We look at crowdfunding in France and its structuration by FPF, a sectoral meta-organization.

We had many interesting comments, especially on the deviant dimension of actors who set up a new regulatory framework.

Thanks every one for this great day of conferences !