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In a seminal paper, Ahrne and Brunsson coined the word ‘meta-organization’. More than a label, this word describes a challenging and stimulating concept that can be valuable for management studies when approached with different units of analysis and research methodologies. ‘Meta-organization’ refers to a central phenomenon in the contemporary world, namely the increasing importance of collective action at the level of organizations, ensuing from major issues related to sustainable development, human rights and corporate responsibility. The concept calls for new forms of theorizing of global collective action. The diversity and heterogeneity of meta-organizations raise methodological issues that require original approaches. In this paper, we show the novelty of the concept of metaorganization; we then address the methodological difficulties and propose a research agenda on meta-organizations for management studies.
Berkowitz, H. & Dumez, H. (2016) The Concept of Meta-Organization: Issues for Management Studies, European Management Review, vol.13, p.149-156.