The Firm as a Collaborative Community: Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy

Paperback | September 26, 2007

EditorCharles Heckscher, Paul Adler

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This volume explores the changing nature of community in modern corporations. Community within and between firms - the fabric of trust so essential to contemporary business - has long been based on loyalty. This loyalty has been largely destroyed by three decades of economic turbulence,downsizing, and restructuring. Yet community is more important than ever in an increasingly complex, knowledge-intensive economy. The thesis of this volume is that a new form of community is slowly emerging - one that is more flexible and wider in scope than the community of loyalty, and thattranscends the limitations of both traditional Gemeinschaft and modern Gesellschaft. We call this form collaborative community. The trend towards collaborative community is difficult to detect amidst the ferocious forces of market and bureaucratic rationalization. But close analysis of some of America's most successful corporations reveals three dimensions of the emerging form: DT a shared ethic of interdependent contribution: distinct from the uneasy mix of loyalty and individualism that prevailed for so long;DT a formalized set of norms of interdependent process management that include iterative co-design, metaphoric search, and systematic mutual understanding: distinct from both rigid authority hierarchies and informal log-rolling;DT An interdependent social identity that supports these organizational features: distinct from both dependent, traditionalistic identities and the independence of the autonomous self that is often associated with Western culture. This volume is a collaborative effort of leading scholars in organization studies to delineate the new form of community and the forces encouraging and constraining its growth. The contributors combine sociology and psychology theory with detailed analysis of business cases at the firm andinter-firm level.

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This volume explores the changing nature of community in modern corporations. Community within and between firms - the fabric of trust so essential to contemporary business - has long been based on loyalty. This loyalty has been largely destroyed by three decades of economic turbulence,downsizing, and restructuring. Yet community is mo...

Charles Heckscher is a professor in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University. His research focuses on organization change and its consequences for employees and unions, and on the possibilities for more collaborative and democratic forms of work. His books include The New Unionism, The Post-Bureau...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.26 inPublished:September 26, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199286043

ISBN - 13:9780199286041

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Table of Contents

Paul S. Adler and Charles Heckscher: IntroductionPart I: Framing Concepts1. Paul S. Adler and Charles Heckscher: Towards Collaborative Community2. Charles Sabel: Theory of a Real-Time Revolution3. Michael Maccoby: The Self in Transition: From Bureaucratic to Interactive Social CharacterPart II: Community Inside Corporations4. Jay Galbraith: Differentiated Networks5. Paul S. Adler: Beyond Hacker Idiocy6. Michael Maccoby: Healthcare Organizations as Collaborative Learning Communities7. Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman: Hyperconnected Net Work8. Saul Rubinstein: Collaborative Community and Employee RepresentationPart III: Community Across Corporations9. Lynda Applegate: Building Inter-Firm Collaborative Community10. John Paul MacDuffie and Susan Helper: Collaboration in Supply ChainsPart IV: The Process of Change11. Michael Maccoby and Charles Heckscher: A Note on Leadership in Collaborative Communities12. Charles Heckscher and Nathaniel Foote: The Strategic Fitness Process13. Mark Bonchek and Robert Howard: The Power to Convene: Leadership in Interfirm Networks