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The Network Organization
The Experience of Leading French Multinationals. New Dimensions in Networks Series
This book examines the resurgence of good organization as a key competitive factor that was witnessed by firms in the 1990s. The author argues that to be competitive during this period, it was no longer sufficient to have a well-structured strategic plan, and that excessive hierarchy had to be removed. Traditional as well as high-tech companies were forced to evolve, and, the book asserts, the first lessons from these changes can now be drawn. Emmanuel Josserand argues that evolving industrial activity demands a more customized service, and to accomplish this, all sectors are moving towards networked organization, i.e. capable of flexibility and learning, with a capacity for change and problem solving through a process of self-organization, self-coordination and interconnectedness. The conclusion is that although the development of a network organization can be difficult, putting in place these mechanisms is, on balance, a positive move. The author goes on to state that in light of the acceleration of information and communication technology, companies should be capable of adapting themselves quickly, and that the network has thus become the inevitable way forward.
The book calls upon experiences of four leading companies who adopted a management style in which decentralization and crosscutting relationships were essential to illustrate this. Highlighting pitfalls for practitioners to avoid, and examining the advantages and difficulties encountered, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and managers with a special interest in the network organization.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'This work illustrates the fertile and healthy renewal of the link between research and the company. As of late, management has become aware of the vital necessity of drawing on research. For the author, this forward-looking and creative approach no longer pertains only to pure science, but also, and perhaps primarily, to the humanities and social sciences. Emmanuel Josserand has positioned himself at this very crossroads.' -- Bernard de Montmorillon, President of the University of Paris-IX Daupine, France 'By providing detailed empirical analysis built on a solid theoretical base, this book advances our ability to conceptualize and then manage the ever increasing complexity of those fascinating adventures that consist of harnessing the efforts of thousands of proudly independent individuals to the achievement of goals that exceed their abilities and enhance their lives, and that we call organizations.' -- J.C. Jarillo HEC, Universite de Geneve, Switzerland 'The book takes a logical and constructive approach, developing the argument through successive chapters to an integrated and comprehensive analysis. As a short, authoritative, and convincing analysis of the network form I believe the book has the potential to become regarded as definitive. The fact that it originates in France is if anything a strength of the work, since Europeans and particularly the French often have been more creative in the development of different forms of enterprise. I believe this book will find a ready paperback market if not as the set text on a range of management and organization undergraduate and postgraduate courses, then definitely as significant supplementary reading. It will be popular with research students, and will find a respected place in the research literature of organization studies.' -- Thomas Clarke, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia