Domination, self-determination and circular organizing

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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.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)801-832
Aantal pagina's32
TijdschriftOrganization Studies
Volume20
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusGepubliceerd - 1999
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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