Organizations such as companies, governmental institutions, NGOs, and hospitals are an important building block of our society. Most of us spend a considerable portion of our (working) life in some sort of organization. Whether we are happy, successful, depressed, or angry depends to a great extend on what we achieve and experience in our organizational life. There is no doubt that organizations have a profound impact on all of us.
Is the 21st century the downfall of the hierarchical organization? Taking into consideration current discussions about agility, delayering and network organizations one could think that the days of the hierarchical organization are numbered. We have a look behind those claims and come up with a set of arguments why hierarchies will remain one of the most important forms of organizing in the 21st century knowledge economy.
More and more organizations start to experiment with organizational forms beyond traditional hierarchies. Some of them are incredible successful while others cease to exist. In this blog post we have a look at what organizational design is, what are the novel organizational forms that emerge and whether they are actually that novel, with a set of questions with both academic and practical considerations that can be explored in the future.