Parhankangas et al. "Negotiated Order in the Network Form Business"
Posted by: daviding
Date: June 19, 2004 07:06AM
As luck would have it, my co-authors have chosen not to attend the ISSS meeting in Asilomar. They did attend the ICSTM meeting in Philadelphia in May, where I was able to elude speaking about this content. In their absence, however, I will address some of the key points and issues about the paper. (If it's impossible for me to both moderate and speak as an author, I usually lean on Gary Metcalf for help).
For me, there's two themes running through this paper:
(1) Why is the Linux (actually open source) movement different from the other forms of business we typically see? Are there other examples of businesses that share similar features, that we should note?
(2) Businesses operating purely through negotiated order or purely through legal order are abstractions. We can use these polar cases, however, to gain insight on "what happens to a system when it reaches its limits"? I could argue that negotiated order works well in small groups, but reaches its limits on scalability, so that legal order needs to be introduced. In a large businesse as a system, however, it's possible for legal order to become bureaucracy, and thus negotiated order becomes an attractive option to consider.
The paper itself has been rather ambitious, and would benefit by some refinement, and we could use the help that other readers might contribute.
I welcome other comments (and hope that my co-authors might join us in some of these discussions, because the web has lower geographic barriers than being at Asilomar!)