The Multifunctional Organization: Two Cases for a Critical Update for Research Programs in Management and Organization

Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 37-54, 2014

18 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2014 Last revised: 9 May 2016

See all articles by Steffen Roth

Steffen Roth

La Rochelle Business School; University of Turku

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Organization and functional differentiation are considered key principles of modern societies. Yet, within organizational studies little research has been conducted on the interplay of function systems, organizations, and society. The few existing studies suppose trends to more functional polyphony. The cases presented in this article, however, support the idea that organizational multifunctionality is the standard case rather than a special case of organization. It is furthermore shown that organizations can change their function system preference and that the translation between function systems can be an organization’s main function. A Google Ngram view on functional differentiation finally furthers the idea that changes of function system preferences are not only a matter of individual organizations, but also a matter of entire societies.

Keywords: Organizational identity, Social differentiation, Function systems, Polyphony, Computer program

JEL Classification: M14, N84, N87

Suggested Citation

Roth, Steffen, The Multifunctional Organization: Two Cases for a Critical Update for Research Programs in Management and Organization (2014). Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 37-54, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2503418

Steffen Roth (Contact Author)

La Rochelle Business School ( email )

102 rue de Coureilles
Les Minimes
La Rochelle, 17024
France

University of Turku ( email )

Assistentinkatu 7
Turku, 20014
Finland

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