Domination, self-determination and circular organizing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The emergence of self-organizing forms of control, based on the idea of self-determination, have challenged traditional forms of control based on the concept of domination. As such, self-determination has been put forward as an alternative rather than as a complement to domination. This paper describes and explores the circular forms of organizing that have been emerging in several parts of the world, viewing them as a possible synthesis of two existing archetypical concepts of power-self-determination and domination. In particular, the emergence of circular organizing in the Dutch company Endenburg Elektrotechniek is documented and interpreted. This case illustrates how a circular structure can be superimposed on the administrative hierarchy, with the latter continuing to play a substantial role in controlling and managing work processes. In the absence of a single ultimate authority, organizational control is exercised through feedback rather than power. As a result of this study, circularity of power is shown to be an interesting theoretical and instrumental concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-832
Number of pages32
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume20
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Organizing
Domination
Self-determination
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Keywords

  • domination
  • self-determination
  • self-organization
  • control
  • organizational design
  • authority
  • circularity
  • power
  • sociocracy
  • circular management

Cite this

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title = "Domination, self-determination and circular organizing",
abstract = "The emergence of self-organizing forms of control, based on the idea of self-determination, have challenged traditional forms of control based on the concept of domination. As such, self-determination has been put forward as an alternative rather than as a complement to domination. This paper describes and explores the circular forms of organizing that have been emerging in several parts of the world, viewing them as a possible synthesis of two existing archetypical concepts of power-self-determination and domination. In particular, the emergence of circular organizing in the Dutch company Endenburg Elektrotechniek is documented and interpreted. This case illustrates how a circular structure can be superimposed on the administrative hierarchy, with the latter continuing to play a substantial role in controlling and managing work processes. In the absence of a single ultimate authority, organizational control is exercised through feedback rather than power. As a result of this study, circularity of power is shown to be an interesting theoretical and instrumental concept.",
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Domination, self-determination and circular organizing. / Romme, A. Georges L.

In: Organization Studies, Vol. 20, No. 5, 1999, p. 801-832.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - The emergence of self-organizing forms of control, based on the idea of self-determination, have challenged traditional forms of control based on the concept of domination. As such, self-determination has been put forward as an alternative rather than as a complement to domination. This paper describes and explores the circular forms of organizing that have been emerging in several parts of the world, viewing them as a possible synthesis of two existing archetypical concepts of power-self-determination and domination. In particular, the emergence of circular organizing in the Dutch company Endenburg Elektrotechniek is documented and interpreted. This case illustrates how a circular structure can be superimposed on the administrative hierarchy, with the latter continuing to play a substantial role in controlling and managing work processes. In the absence of a single ultimate authority, organizational control is exercised through feedback rather than power. As a result of this study, circularity of power is shown to be an interesting theoretical and instrumental concept.

KW - domination

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