What’s ‘New’ About New Forms of Organizing?

Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming

46 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011 Last revised: 11 Jun 2013

See all articles by Phanish Puranam

Phanish Puranam


Oliver Alexy

Technische Universität München (TUM), TUM School of Management

Markus G. Reitzig

University of Vienna

Date Written: May 30, 2013


In order to assess if new theories are necessary to explain new forms of organizing, or whether existing theories suffice, we must first specify exactly what makes a form of organizing “new.” We propose clear criteria for making such an assessment, and show how they are useful in assessing if and when new theories of organizing may truly be needed. We illustrate our arguments by contrasting forms of organizing often considered novel, such as Linux, Wikipedia, and Oticon against their traditional counterparts. We conclude that while there may be little that existing theory cannot explain about individual elements in these new forms of organizing, opportunities for new theorizing may lie in understanding the bundles of co-occurring elements that seem to underlie them, and why the same bundles occur in widely disparate organizations.

Keywords: Organization theory, organization design, new forms of organizing

JEL Classification: L20, D73, D20

Suggested Citation

Puranam, Phanish and Alexy, Oliver and Reitzig, Markus G., What’s ‘New’ About New Forms of Organizing? (May 30, 2013). Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1907542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1907542

Phanish Puranam (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore, 138676

HOME PAGE: http://www.insead.edu/facultyresearch/faculty/profiles/ppuranam/

Oliver Alexy

Technische Universität München (TUM), TUM School of Management ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, 80333
+49-89-289-52803 (Phone)
+49-89-289-52899 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ent.wi.tum.de

Markus G. Reitzig

University of Vienna ( email )

Bruenner Strasse 72
Vienna, Vienna 1090

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