Research in Progress

ODC provides opportunity to scholars, practitioners and professional to come together and share organization design challenges. This webinars series showcases research which is ongoing or has just come to focus and researcher seeks inputs from people who share the same interest. 


Title: "From Organization Design to Organizational Design Inquiry: Towards a pragmatic perspective”

Presenter: Frithjof Wegener PhD-Candidate, Delft University of Technology

Description: A number of scholars are claiming paradigmatic shifts in organisation design (e.g. Magalhães, 2020; Snow & Fjeldstad, forthcoming). Similarly, I realised that organisation design is predominantly looking at organisation design through the paradigm of design science (Simon, 1969) with an emphasis on contingency theory. While in design studies, next to Simon’s Design Science, an important alternative paradigm emerged: Schön’s Reflective Practice (1983) and Design Inquiry, which drew heavily on the pragmatist inquiry of Dewey (1938). Schön critiqued technical rationality, arguing the designer “does not keep means and ends separate, but defines them interactively as he frames the problematic situation. He does not separate thinking from doing, ratiocinating his way to the decision which he must later convert to action.” (1983, p. 68). Therefore, in this webinar I want to explore with the audience the paradigmatic assumptions of organization design, problematize these building on the work of Alvesson & Sandberg (2011) and Dewey (1938) and substantiate a paradigmatic shift in organization design.

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Title: "More is Different: The Effect of Preference Diversity on Exploration" 

Presenter: Jose P. Arrieta, Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Amsterdam's Business School.

Description: Models of organizational learning under uncertainty tend to assume that organizations are composed of either one single agent or multiple agents whom all share their points of view – homogeneous preferences. In this paper, I relax this assumption and study how organizations composed of people with diverse views of the world – diverse preferences – learn from their uncertain environments. I find that preference diversity can lead to large and nontrivial changes in the exploration rate of organizations. Preference diversity is a double-edged sword. It can lead to both increased exploration rates but also decreased exploration. The key behind an increase or decrease in exploration is given by the specific preference range, bias, and polarization of the organization. A manager who wishes its organizations to explore more has two routes for achieving higher exploration through preference diversity. First, the manager can create measures that promote the agent’s preference polarization. Conversely, the manager could incentivize polarization and create measures to control the preference bias. However, even small deviations on a single agent’s preferences can erode the organization’s exploration rate in polarized organizations. Polarized and biased organizations, explore much less than organizations whose agents share their preferences.

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Europe: Organizational Design Community Co/Department of Management | Aarhus BSS | Aarhus University | Fuglesangs Alle 4 | DK-8210 Aarhus V | Denmark


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