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An Actor-Network Theory of Organizations
Series: Sozialtheorie

Bürokratie und des Postsystems sowie zu Bibliotheken und Büros.32 Ein Verständnis von Organisation als forma- ler Einheit findet sich ebenfalls in Untersuchungen von Beratungsunternehmen oder Think-Tanks.33 Im englischsprachigen Raum gibt es darüber hinaus Ver- suche, die medientechnologische Verfasstheit des Sozialen über den Organisa- tionsbegriff zu fassen. So hat etwa Ned Rossiter den Wandel formaler Organi- sationen mittels der Unterscheidung von networked organizations und organized networks untersucht. Rossiter und Geert Lovink haben zudem die Frage der

1996). As Castells (2005) points out, it is not networks that are new in hu- man history, but “What is new is the microelectronics-based, networking technologies that provide new capabilities to an old form of social organiza- tion” (4). Digital information and communication technologies make global networked organizations possible. Both large and small, whether high-tech or not, organizations in all areas of society are changing. Castells (2005: 8) locates three processes characteristic of the network society, 1) the “generation and diffusion of new

6. Conclusion The story we set out to tell was a story about organizations, about what they are, how they come to be, how they are maintained, and how they are transformed. Our goal was to show how organizations can theoretically be defined as processes of networking and empirically described as networked organizations. In order to define what networks are and how networking is done we turned to actor-network theory (ANT). ANT implies the following assumptions: Organizations do not emerge from the interests and decisions of individual human actors, much as

microelectronics-based, networking technologies that provide new capabilities to an old form of social organization” (4). The digital transformation makes global networked organizations possible. Following the slogan, “governance without government,”9 new decentralized, non-hierarchical, collaborative, and distributed forms of regulation typical of networks have become central topics in almost all areas of today’s world. Of course, even in a network society, people must accomplish certain tasks and solve certain problems if there is to be cooperative action at all. Goals

understood to describe a fundamental shift in the way networking is done, the kind of stories that are being told, and how sensemaking is organizing social relations today. Network Management Framework In the last decades, much effort has been made to describe the challenges of “21st century management.”2 A central topic that has emerged from this research is leadership and management of networked organizations.3 Although explicitly concerned with interorganizational networks, the framework of network leadership and management that Saz-Carranza et al. (2008

processes that create new organizational forms. Large organizations “decentralize themselves as networks of semi-autonomous units,” whereas small or medium sized organizations “form business networks” and “become providers and subcontractors to a variety of large corporations” (Castells 2005: 9). In addition to this, these new networked organizations “engage in strategic partnerships on various projects,” whereby the networks built around projects dissolve at the end of a project and flexibly recombine for other projects. Castells is careful to emphasize that the

. (2012): “Psst, You in Aisle 5.” In: Now York Times, Feb. 19, 2012, §6 (Magazine). Dutton, W. (2008): Collaborative Network Organizations: New Technical, Managerial and Social Infrastructures to Capture the Value of Distributed Network Publicy Governance158 Intelligence. Oxford Internet Institute DPSN Working Paper Series No. 5. Emerson, K., Nabatchi, T., Balogh, S. (2011): “An Integrative Framework for Collaborative Governance.” In: Journal of Public Administration Research 22, pp. 1-29. Enfield, N. J

Datenschutz: Proteste zur Volks- zählung 1983 und 1987 in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Hamburg. Djelic, Marie-Laure/Quack, Sigrid (2003): Globalization and Institutions. Rede- fining the Rules of the Economic Game. Cheltenham. Dobusch, Leonhard/Müller-Seitz, Gordon (2012): Serial Singularities: Develop- ing a Network Organization by Organizing Events. In: Schmalenbach Busi- ness Review, i.E. Dobusch, Leonhard/Quack, Sigrid (2010): Epistemic Communities and Social Movements: Transnational Dynamics in the Case of Creative Commons. In: Djelic, Marie-Laure/Quack, Sigrid

The political economy perspective relates alternative economic prac- tices to the conditions and contexts within economic constellations, 14 | SEBASTIAN HILLEBRAND AND HANS-MARTIN ZADEMACH networks, organisations or individuals. Scholars in this field take into account that many economic practices considered alternative still cen- ter on the production, exchange, and circulation of commodities: “Few are so alternative that they eschew the circulation of capital in com- modity form altogether” (McCarty 2006: 808f). In fact, many alterna- tive economic practices