Göran Ahrne and Nils Brunsson

A growing number of organizations are meta-organizations; rather than individuals they have other organizations as their members. This comprehensive book explains, in-depth, the unique way in which meta-organizations function, how they differ from organizations with individual membership, and how they are crucial agents in the process of globalization.

Chapter 2: Many Meta-organizations

Göran Ahrne and Nils Brunsson

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies


is strengthening or weakening. If these changes are far-reaching, they will lead to the meta-organization’s transformation into one or more individual-based organizations. At a certain point, we find meta-organizations with different relative strengths between organization and membership. 8 Meta-organizations Chapter 8 summarizes the differences between metaorganizations and individual-based organizations as a function of their differing memberships. We list a number of hypotheses generated by our theory. In Chapter 9, we develop the discussion around metaorganizations and their environments, paying special attention to globalization processes. In understanding these processes, concepts such as governance, institution, and network are not enough; rather, a major part of globalization is created through organizing in different forms. In this chapter, we explain why meta-organizations constitute a key form of global organizing. Furthermore, we compare meta-organizations with other forms of collaboration between organizations and with other forms of organizing.

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