Social Order and Organizational Dynamics in Alternative Currency Movement Network

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Mikko LAAMANEN, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom
Christine MOSER, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sanne BOR, Hanken School of Economics, Finland
Frank DEN HOND, Hanken School of Economics, Finland, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
This paper follows a novel approach to the sociological study of organizational dynamics and social movements building on the theoretical notion that social order in organized settings is both emergent and decided. Our paper empirically examines a local social movement initiative within the so-called ‘alternative currency movement’. We ask: Which processes and practices can be found in the organizational dynamics of this social movement initiative, and: To what extent and how can they be explained as a blend of emergent and decided sources of social order?

In their idealizations, formal organizations and non-organizations are extreme cases of, respectively, decided and emergent social orders. We propose that the realization of purpose and / or the survival of various organized settings is in reality associated with maintaining a balanced blend of decided and emergent elements of social order that evolve over time. We shed light on the broader puzzle of how social order in organized settings evolves, as organizational dynamics change through the interplay of networks, institutions and decisions, the different forms that elements of organizing obtain when participants rely on different blends of emergent and decided sources of social order.

Drawing on relational sociology, we approach organizing processes as patterns of relationships that allow interlinking the individual and collective action that constitute social movement spaces. Concentrating on how the participants in the social movement initiative negotiate a blend of emergent and decided sources of social order, we use a mixed-method design to describe and explain dynamic and inherently relational organizing activities that unfold in the community’s day-to-day interactions. In-depth analyses of these processes will enable us to explain how decided and emergent social order is maintained and balanced in practice by the initiative’s participants. Our study culminates in a dynamic process model informing future research on partial organizations.