Nätverkskoordineringens dualiteter

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: By comparing intra- and interorganizational coordination, the purpose is to gain increased know-ledge of the mechanisms of coordination in network structures. The study is based on a longitudi-nal case study of coordination in a network structure, where coordination processes are taking place inside and between independent companies in a conveyor manufacturing industry. The em-pirical research consisted of interviews conducted with several partners in the network between 1998 and 2001. Coordination in network structures in the case study has been shown to embrace different mechanisms, unlike the notion that networks are coordinated within one unique and des-ignated coordination mechanism. Coordination of networks produces contradictory tendencies, which in some cases can be regarded as paradoxes. There is interplay between intra- and inter-organizational coordination in network structures. There may be parallel coordination mechanisms in a network structure, in separate nodes of legally demarcated organizations, which differ from the mechanisms that are applicable between organizations. In practice the theoretical distinction between intra- and interoganization coordination can become hard to uphold in a network struc-ture. The study reveals that the horizontal network is not necessarily coordinated in an equal man-ner, but can be centralized around a core that holds authority and can exercise more or less direct supervision. Standardization contributes to facilitate coordination by limiting the variation and by creating predictability. At the same time, standardization jeopardizes the desire for the originally desired variation and flexibility. An inherent paradox is the drive for limited dependency while at the same time there is an equally strong drive for cohesion. The study has shown that critical trust calls not only for constant maintenance but also for supervision and control. Organizing in network structures demands a constant balance between conflicting interests. Many of the paradoxes and contradictions that appear in network organizing could sometimes disappear when you look at the social structure as enabling and constraining at the same time. The network structure is not a static object, but instead a relatively fragile, connected pattern that comprises small, continuous altera-tions. Therefore, the coordination of networks does not rest on unchanging principles but on con-tinuous and dynamic interaction.

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