Organization outside organizations: Forthcoming article by Ahrne & Brunsson

Regarding the question “what is an organization?”, it makes sense to start with specifying criteria that need to jointly come together whenever we speak of organization or organizing (i.e. where does organization as a phenomenon start and where does it end). In a forthcoming article in the journal “Organization” , Ahrne and Brunsson argue that beyond conventional or “complete” forms of organizations, e.g. a multi-national enterprise or a governmental organization, there are a number of rudimentary organizational phenomena that would best be described as “partial organization”. Whereas complete organizations incorporate all the criteria of organization, partial organization is based on only one or a few of these. I think that this paper very well feeds into recent debates on what characterizes organization (as communication) in contrast to other social phenomena, e.g., networks, communities, markets, social movements, etc. (Sillince, 2010).

The forthcoming article by Ahrne and Brunsson was published online ahead of print and is available as of today.


Ahrne, G. & Brunsson, N. (forthcoming): Organization outside organizations: the significance of partial organization. Organization.

Sillince, J. A. A. (2010). Can CCO theory tell us how organizing is distinct from markets, networking, belonging to a community, or supporting a social movement? Management Communication Quarterly, 24(1), 132-138.

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