Organizing Organizations II: Meta-Organizations and Their Role in Modern Society

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:30-10:20
RC17 Sociology of Organization (host committee)

Language: English

Meta-organizations—that is, organizations that have organizations as their members—are an important phenomenon in contemporary society. There are now hundreds of thousands of meta-organizations worldwide, including business associations, trade union confederations, sport associations, military alliances, and intergovernmental organizations. They may be national or international, and often play an important part in shaping modern society.
Meta-organizations differ fundamentally in many ways from organizations whose members are individuals. Unlike individual-based organizations, meta-organizations’ members are also organizations. Meta-organizations may need to compete with their member organizations for autonomy and often struggle to become strong actors in their own right.
Despite their societal significance, scholarly interest in meta-organizations has been limited. This session aims to facilitate a broader discussion in organizational sociology on meta-organizations, their characteristics, and their relevance. It will be open to theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: • Struggle for autonomy between meta-organizations and their members
• The effects of membership upon member organizations
• Power among and within meta-organizations
• Differences between weak and strong meta-organizations
• Typologies of different types of meta-organizations
• Different levels of meta-organizing, from meta-organizations to meta-meta-organizations and so on, and their relevance
• Development of meta-organizations over time
• Differences between meta-organizations and (partially organized) networks and how networks become meta-organizations
• The roles of individuals in meta-organizations as employees, representatives, and boundary spanners
• The role of meta-organizations in shaping modern society and vice versa
Session Organizers:
Carlos CUEVAS-GARCIA, Technical University Munich, Germany and Uli MEYER, Technische Universität München, Germany
Michael GROTHE-HAMMER, Helmut Schmidt University, Germany
Oral Presentations
Determinants and Role of a Business Meta-Organization in Regulatory Changes and Market Development
Heloise BERKOWITZ, CNRS (UMR5303), TSM-Research, France; Antoine SOUCHAUD, ESCP Europe, Labex ReFi (ESCP Europe, ENA, La Sorbonne, CNAM), France
Accumulating Authority in International Meta-Organizations
Valtteri VÄHÄ-SAVO, University of Tampere, Finland; Jukka SYVÄTERÄ, University of Tampere, Finland; Leena TERVONEN-GONCALVES, University of Tampere, Finland
New Organization of Work in a Multinational Car Company: Job Satisfaction and Working Condition in Comparative Perspective
Vito DI SANTO, Nasp - Network for the advancement of Social and Political Studies, Italy
Distributed Papers
Beyond Enterprise: Organizations and Meta-Organizations As a Form of Collective Action in Colombia. 1950-2015
Karem SANCHEZ DE ROLDAN, Facultad de Ciencias de la Administración - Universidad del Valle, Colombia; Oscar Iván VÁSQUEZ, Facultad de Ciencias de la Administración Universidad del Valle, Colombia