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The multifunctional organization: two cases for a critical update for research programs in management and organization

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Roth, Steffen

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Abstract Organization and functional differentiation are considered key principles of modern societies. Yet, within organizational studies little research has been conducted on the interplay of function systems, organizations, and society. The few existing studies suppose trends to more functional polyphony. The cases presented in this article, however, support the idea that organizational multifunctionality is the standard case rather than a special case of organization. It is furthermore shown that organizations can change their function system preference and that the translation between function systems can be an organization’s main function. A Google Ngram view on functional differentiation finally furthers the idea that changes of function system preferences are not only a matter of individual organizations, but also a matter of entire societies.
Keywords functional differentiation; management; organization; identity; social differentiation
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; Organizational Sociology; Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations
Method theory application
Free Keywords function systems; polyphony; computer program
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 37-54
Journal Tamara : Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, 12 (2014) 3
ISSN 1532-5555
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works