Purpose This article aims to provide a theoretical unifying framework for flexible organizational forms, such as so-called adhocracies and network organizations. Design/methodology/approach In this article, organization practices that are typical of the software industry are analyzed and re-interpreted by means of foundational concepts of organization science. It is shown that one and the same logic is at work in all flexible organizations. Findings Coordination modes can be fruitfully employed to characterize flexible organizations. In particular, standardization is key in order to obtain flexibility, provided that a novel sort of coordination by standardization is added to those that have been conceptualized hitherto. Research limitations/implications This article highlights one necessary condition for organizations to be flexible. Further aspects, only cursorily mentioned in this paper, need to be addressed in order to obtain a complete picture. Practical implications A theory of organizational flexibility constitutes a guide for organizational design. This article suggests the non-obvious prescription that the boundary conditions of individual behavior must be standardized in order to achieve operational flexibility. Social implications This theoretical framework can be profitably employed in management classes. Originality/value Currently, flexible organizations are only understood in terms of lists of instances. This article shows that apparently heterogeneous case-studies share common features in fact.

Flexibility out of Standardization / Giacomo Cabri, Guido Fioretti. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATION THEORY AND BEHAVIOR. - ISSN 1093-4537. - STAMPA. - 25:1/2(2022), pp. 2.22-2.38. [10.1108/IJOTB-11-2020-0197]

Flexibility out of Standardization

Guido Fioretti
Secondo
Conceptualization
2022

Abstract

Purpose This article aims to provide a theoretical unifying framework for flexible organizational forms, such as so-called adhocracies and network organizations. Design/methodology/approach In this article, organization practices that are typical of the software industry are analyzed and re-interpreted by means of foundational concepts of organization science. It is shown that one and the same logic is at work in all flexible organizations. Findings Coordination modes can be fruitfully employed to characterize flexible organizations. In particular, standardization is key in order to obtain flexibility, provided that a novel sort of coordination by standardization is added to those that have been conceptualized hitherto. Research limitations/implications This article highlights one necessary condition for organizations to be flexible. Further aspects, only cursorily mentioned in this paper, need to be addressed in order to obtain a complete picture. Practical implications A theory of organizational flexibility constitutes a guide for organizational design. This article suggests the non-obvious prescription that the boundary conditions of individual behavior must be standardized in order to achieve operational flexibility. Social implications This theoretical framework can be profitably employed in management classes. Originality/value Currently, flexible organizations are only understood in terms of lists of instances. This article shows that apparently heterogeneous case-studies share common features in fact.
2022
Flexibility out of Standardization / Giacomo Cabri, Guido Fioretti. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATION THEORY AND BEHAVIOR. - ISSN 1093-4537. - STAMPA. - 25:1/2(2022), pp. 2.22-2.38. [10.1108/IJOTB-11-2020-0197]
Giacomo Cabri, Guido Fioretti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/890224
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