Temporary Organizations

Temporary Organizations

Prevalence, Logic and Effectiveness

Edited by Patrick Kenis, Martyna Janowicz-Panjaitan and Bart Cambré

This important and timely book provides a systematic treatment of temporary organizations – an increasingly prevalent organizational form in which organizations work together on a joint task – for example, a movie production, a rescue operation, development of a new product – for an ex ante limited period of time.

Introduction: Temporary Organizations – A Challenge and Opportunity for our Thinking About Organizations

Martyna Janoqicz-Panjaitan, Bart Cambre and Patrick Kenis

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies


Introduction: temporary organizations – a challenge and opportunity for our thinking about organizations Martyna Janowicz-Panjaitan, Bart Cambré and Patrick Kenis Between 2004 and 2005 the highway around the City of Antwerp was renovated. This highway links, among others, the Dutch harbor of Rotterdam and the so-called Randstad area of the Netherlands – an urban area including the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – with the Belgian harbor of Antwerp and the southern part of Europe. 250 000 vehicles use this highway daily. Consequently, the renovation was a tremendous logistic operation and the challenge was to avoid paralyzing traffic. The undertaking involved ten different companies, public agencies and associations concerned with safety and traffic. Due to this complexity, it was predicted by many that this ‘big maintenance’, as it was called, would lead to an enormous amount of irritation and would last much longer than originally planned. But the outcomes turned out to be very different from these expectations. The renovation resulted in very little irritation and was finished two weeks before the deadline. A number of innovations – specific measures taken to produce a smooth traffic circulation during renovation – have been kept in place, as they proved to have great benefits for traffic circulation and safety. On 30 August 2005 the completion of the ‘big maintenance’ was a major item on the Belgian news. Apart from proudly presenting pictures of the finished product, the newscaster also showed another remarkable photo: a six-foottall construction worker falling into the arms of a co-worker from...