Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century

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Overview

Technological changes have displaced the hierarchical corporation as the model for business organization; the large corporations of the new century are decentralizing and externalizing, creating networks of "industry ecosystems" that will replace the top-down organizations of the last century. Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century reports on a five-year multidisciplinary research initiative conducted by MIT's Sloan School of Management and sponsored by leading international corporations. The goal of the initiative was not only to understand the way we work now but to invent new ways of working and put them into practice.The twenty articles in the book are organized to answer three questions. The first part, "What is changing?" examines the reasons for change and the results of change. The second part, "What can you do about it?" considers the new business strategies and organizations that technology and competition demand. The third part, "What do you want in the first place?" examines the goals that animate the initiative, which go beyond pure profit to reflect the human values we want the organizations of the twenty-first century to serve.

The MIT Press

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"A tectonic plate shift is under way in the world of organizations. The modern corporation as we have known it for the last hundred years or more is being redefined, reconfigured,
and disaggregated. In the long term, this will have profound implications for many of us whose lives are somehow interdependent with firms. While the full details of the implications of the changed landscape will emerge in time, the Malone, Laubacher and Scott Morton-edited book -- a series of twenty chapters written mainly by a group of MIT faculty members -- is quite possibly the best and most comprehensive early look at this changing nature of the modern corporation and related issues."--Jitendra V. Singh, Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management, The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania

The MIT Press

"Occasionally in the history of ideas there is a convergence around a radical and challenging agenda. Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century is no mere compendium of occasional publications, but rather the exciting demonstration of just such a confluence: an extraordinary range of disciplines, unified by a common perspective that may come to define the 'MIT School.'" Philip Evans , Senior Vice President, The Boston
Consulting Group

The MIT Press

"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research." Peter Schwartz , Chairman, Global Business Network

The MIT Press

"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research" Peter Schwartz , Chairman, Global Business Network

The MIT Press

"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research"--Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network

The MIT Press

"Occasionally in the history of ideas there is a convergence around a radical and challenging agenda. *Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century* is no mere compendium of occasional publications, but rather the exciting demonstration of just such a confluence: an extraordinary range of disciplines, unified by a common perspective that may come to define the 'MIT
School.'"--Philip Evans, Senior Vice President, The Boston Consulting Group

The MIT Press

From the Publisher
"A tectonic plate shift is under way in the world of organizations. The modern corporation as we have known it for the last hundred years or more is being redefined, reconfigured,and disaggregated. In the long term, this will have profound implications for many of us whose lives are somehow interdependent with firms. While the full details of the implications of the changed landscape will emerge in time, the Malone, Laubacher and Scott Morton-edited book — a series of twenty chapters written mainly by a group of MIT faculty members — is quite possibly the best and most comprehensive early look at this changing nature of the modern corporation and related issues."—Jitendra V. Singh, Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management, The Wharton School,University of Pennsylvania

"Occasionally in the history of ideas there is a convergence around a radical and challenging agenda. Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century is no mere compendium of occasional publications, but rather the exciting demonstration of just such a confluence: an extraordinary range of disciplines, unified by a common perspective that may come to define the 'MIT School.'" Philip Evans , Senior Vice President, The BostonConsulting Group

"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research." Peter Schwartz , Chairman, Global Business Network

"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research" Peter Schwartz , Chairman, Global Business Network

"Overall, the book is a remarkable contribution of innovative thoughts and deep scholarly research"—Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network

"Occasionally in the history of ideas there is a convergence around a radical and challenging agenda. *Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century* is no mere compendium of occasional publications, but rather the exciting demonstration of just such a confluence: an extraordinary range of disciplines, unified by a common perspective that may come to define the 'MITSchool.'"—Philip Evans, Senior Vice President, The Boston Consulting Group

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262632737
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/20/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas W. Malone is Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Information Systems at the MIT Sloan
School of Management.

Robert Laubacher is Research Associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Michael S. Scott Morton is Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management Emeritus at the MIT Sloan
School of Management.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
I Introduction 1
1 Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century 3
II What is Changing? 15
Why Are Things Changing? 23
2 The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited 25
3 Is Empowerment Just a Fad? Control, Decision Making, and IT 49
4 Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance 71
How Are Things Changing? 101
5 The Dawn of the E-Lance Economy 103
6 Two Scenarios for 21st Century Organizations: Shifting Networks of Small Firms or All-Encompassing "Virtual Countries"? 115
7 The Interesting Organizations Project: Digitalization of the 21st Century Firm 133
III What Can You Do About It? 161
Inventing New Strategies 171
8 The Delta Model: Adaptive Management for a Changing World 173
9 Clockspeed-Based Strategies for Supply Chain Design 205
Inventing New Organizations 219
10 Tools for Inventing Organizations: Toward a Handbook of Organizational Processes
11 Inventing Organizations with the Process Handbook: Excerpts from a Learning History 251
12 An Improvisational Model for Change Management: The Case of Groupware Technologies 265
13 The Comparative Advantage of X-Teams 283
14 Eight Imperatives for the New IT Organization 297
IV What Do You Want in the First Place? 319
15 What Do We Really Want? A Manifesto for Organizations of the 21st Century 325
16 Building a New Social Contract at Work: A Call to Action 333
17 Retreat of the Firm and the Rise of Guilds: The Employment Relationship in an Age off Virtual Business 353
18 Unexpected Connections: Considering Your Employees' Personal Lives Can Revitalize Your Business 375
19 Innovating Our Way to the Next Industrial Revolution 389
V Conclusion 413
20 Prospects for the New Century 415
List of Contributors 417
Index 421
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