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Control in complex organizations

Rennstam, Jens LU and Kärreman, Dan (2014) Academy of Management Conference 2014.
Abstract
The extant research on organizational control builds on the assumption of vertical control – managers are thought to develop orders, rules and norms to control the operating core. Yet it is claimed that work becomes increasingly “knowledge intensive” and that organizations rely heavily for their productivity on the knowledge and creativity of their work force. In this type of “knowledge work,” the strong focus on vertical control is insufficient as it fails to account for the important operative and horizontal interactions upon which many contemporary organizations depend. Drawing on practice theory and an ethnographic study of engineering work, this paper theorizes control as a form of work that does not only belong to formal management,... (More)
The extant research on organizational control builds on the assumption of vertical control – managers are thought to develop orders, rules and norms to control the operating core. Yet it is claimed that work becomes increasingly “knowledge intensive” and that organizations rely heavily for their productivity on the knowledge and creativity of their work force. In this type of “knowledge work,” the strong focus on vertical control is insufficient as it fails to account for the important operative and horizontal interactions upon which many contemporary organizations depend. Drawing on practice theory and an ethnographic study of engineering work, this paper theorizes control as a form of work that does not only belong to formal management, but is dispersed among various work activities, including horizontal ones. The article introduces the idea of control work as a key practice in contemporary organizations, and the concepts of constructive disobedience, translation, and peer reviewing as ways of understanding how control work is exercised at the operative level. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
host publication
Academy of Management Proceedings
volume
2014
edition
1
publisher
Academy of Management
conference name
Academy of Management Conference
conference location
Atlanta, United States
conference dates
2006-08-01
DOI
10.5465/ambpp.2014.15142abstract
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
436f1679-4273-411c-b3db-4f0a92e2e0a2
date added to LUP
2019-12-08 16:27:18
date last changed
2020-06-17 10:08:19
@inproceedings{436f1679-4273-411c-b3db-4f0a92e2e0a2,
  abstract     = {The extant research on organizational control builds on the assumption of vertical control – managers are thought to develop orders, rules and norms to control the operating core. Yet it is claimed that work becomes increasingly “knowledge intensive” and that organizations rely heavily for their productivity on the knowledge and creativity of their work force. In this type of “knowledge work,” the strong focus on vertical control is insufficient as it fails to account for the important operative and horizontal interactions upon which many contemporary organizations depend. Drawing on practice theory and an ethnographic study of engineering work, this paper theorizes control as a form of work that does not only belong to formal management, but is dispersed among various work activities, including horizontal ones. The article introduces the idea of control work as a key practice in contemporary organizations, and the concepts of constructive disobedience, translation, and peer reviewing as ways of understanding how control work is exercised at the operative level.},
  author       = {Rennstam, Jens and Kärreman, Dan},
  booktitle    = {Academy of Management Proceedings},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Academy of Management},
  title        = {Control in complex organizations},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/ambpp.2014.15142abstract},
  doi          = {10.5465/ambpp.2014.15142abstract},
  volume       = {2014},
  year         = {2014},
}