WWWe Conference, 16-17 April 2002 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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WWWe Conference, 16-17 April 2002

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  1. WWWe Conference, 16-17 April 2002 CONDITIONS FOR NEW WAYS OF ORGANIZING, USING ICT: DEALING WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL DILEMMAS Frank Lambrechts Limburgs Universitair Centrum Diepenbeek, Belgium Koen Sips Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  2. Introduction • Technical possibilities + decentralization • Competency networks • Temporary collaborative networks • Predictions of evolutionary models: • variation • selection • retention • Conceptualizing human coordination

  3. 3 critical conditions • Psychological boundaries • Psychological dilemmas • Mental constructions or images

  4. Boundaries blurr • Boundaries become more permeable • Reorganization & ICT (Venkatraman, 1994) • efficiency within functional domains • link between functional domains • added value of primary and support activities • relationships with customers and suppliers (integration of common processes) • reconfiguration of position and ‘identity’ as stakeholder

  5. Psychological boundaries • Work by Hirschhorn & Gilmore (1992) • Authority boundary • Task boundary • Political boundary • Identity boundary


  6. Authority boundary • Who’s in charge of what? • Critical questions or tensions: • leading but open to criticism • following but challenge superiors • + room for initiative by subordinates, leaders are supported and challenged • - distrust, passivity, rebellion

  7. Task boundary • Who does what? • Critical questions or tensions: • dependency on others • specialize but still understand & respect others • + pride, comfortable with dependencies, trust in own and others’ competencies • - unsure, anxious, incompetent, sometimes shame (definition of task, distribution of responsibilities, assignment of resources)

  8. Political boundary • What’s in it for us? • Critical questions or tensions: • defending your own interests, without undermining the whole • estimation of win-win vs win-loose situations • + feel powerful, fairly treated & rewarded • - feel powerless, denied, not represented in decision making or even feel exploited

  9. Identity boundary • Who does and who does not belong to our group? • Critical questions or tensions: • be loyal without undermining outsiders • internal cohesion without external rivalry • + loyal & proud to belong to own group & healthy respect for others • - contempt and distrust for others (not accepting differences)

  10. Psychological dilemmas • Related to trust, loyalty and identity • Dilemma 1: tightly vs loosely coupled • Dilemma 2: closed vs open communication • Dilemma 3: continuity vs change in membership

  11. Tightly vs loosely coupled • External adaptation + internal integration (Schein, 1985) • Enough cohesion in order not to fall apart • How tight in order to reach common ground • If it takes too long, to co-created a new culture, the (market) opportunity might be already gone

  12. Closed vs open communication • Collaborative network = new organizational reality = constructed by dialogue • Quality of communication processes and relationships given temporary nature? • Trust needs touch (Handy, 1995) • How to get back from debate to dialogue • Short messages: superficial vs deepening, opportunistic vs constructive

  13. Continuity vs change in membership • A newly shared reality takes trust & time • Is social reconstruction possible when parties can easily and frequently change? • Sufficient negotiation possible? • Technically spoken, new constructions (and membership) is easy, but what about underlying social & psychological changes?

  14. Identity and Identification • How does a temporary network identity emerge? • Identification of networks members with the collaborative network • Influence of network membership on individual organizations • Inclusion in different networks (multiple/simultaneous memberships)

  15. New “Images of Organizations” • Metaphors by Gareth Morgan (1986; 1993) • 7 new metaphors: • organizations as ‘spaghetti’ • organizations as ‘pizzas’ • organizations as ‘shamrocks’ • organizations as ‘starbursts’ • organizations as ‘spider webs’ • organizations as ‘bee hives’ • organizations as ‘piranhas’

  16. Organizations as Spaghetti • constantly moving, never the same • chaotic at first sight • minimal amount of rules and procedures

  17. Organizations as Pizzas • circular form, equality of co-workers • slices of salami = cross-functional teams • melted cheese = glue that binds together (culture)

  18. Organizations as Shamrocks • 1st leaf = core staff (partners) • 2nd leaf = contractors, external suppliers • 3rd leaf = contingent labor force (temporary workers) • 4th leaf = customers (cfr. IKEA)

  19. Organizations as Starbursts • newly developed products or services are split from the parent company • work independently, grow in an entrepreneurial way • parent company leads the network

  20. Organizations as Spider webs • flat organizations, little hierarchy • intensive communication • fractal structure (parts contain the whole) • no formal authority relationships • the center collects and transfers information rather than generating it

  21. Organizations as Bee-hives • multiple actors with a coordination role • not only producers, also conveners • collective intelligence • high adaptability, innovation at many spots • sophisticated communication and coordination patterns • reduced role of controlled forecasting and planning (rationality)

  22. Organizations as Piranhas • highlights the potential aggression of highly specialized individuals or organizations • react quickly and aggressively to customer needs; reform, adapt and (re-)attack quickly • piranha companies eat substantive pieces of the market share of traditional companies • stresses competition in networked economy

  23. Network Convener • Leadership in a network? • Convener, net broker, transaction broker • Someone seen as neutral, serving an overall goal that transcends individual interests • Often trusted in connection with institution • Catalyst for companies to make strategic partnerships, organizes network activities, identifies business opportunities, facilitates the (search) process

  24. Specific competencies • Aware of psychological boundaries and dilemmas • Make parties aware of their ‘scripts’, stimulates & facilitates the co-creation of new scripts, suggests a ‘basic script’ • Buffering power differences • Create a minimal structure • Construction of ground rules

  25. Promotes process characteristics: • open communication • mutual testing of information • bilateral definition of task • open confrontation • tolerance for mistakes • Coaching rather than leading (process directivity)

  26. Communication skills, conflict handling skills • Time management, budgeting, fund raising • Position power doesn’t work, technical expertise can be valued but might also be counterproductive for the convening role

  27. Conclusions • Technological possibilities will increase, but is the org-ware up to follow? • Where do we want to go as an organization? • Creativity (by safety, positive stress, play) • Group is often more creative than individual • Opposite trend? less social contact • Human imagination & social interaction skills are the limits to new, ICT based organizations