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Organizing for Independence
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5970-6137
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
2019 (English)In: Organization outside Organizations: The Abundance of Partial Organization in Social Life / [ed] Göran Ahrne, Nils Brunsson, Cambridge University Press, 2019, p. 155-176Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter we investigate how certification and accreditation organizations put much effort in constructing an image of independence for the outside world to see and endorse. It is difficult for an organization to proclaim its own independence; rather, a fundamental way of convincing others of its independence is through entering dependency relationships with other formal organizations that grant the organization independence, like the dubbing of knights. We analyse the character of organizational dependencies with respect to rules, sanctions, hierarchy, monitoring, and membership and conclude that the search for independence result in the addition of elements to elements, driving more and more organization. We discuss how the adding of elements form a complex system of interdependent organizations, which resembles a rational, authoritative Weberian bureaucracy. Although this bureaucratic system may be understood as organization – a decided and systematized order – it is not a discernible entity. It is partial and as such it lacks a central authority to govern and to which an overall responsibility could be ascribed. Paradoxically, the efforts aiming at ensuring independence resulted in the organizations becoming dependent not only on each other, but also on the decided order surrounding them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2019. p. 155-176
Keywords [en]
independence, audit, certification, standards, accrediation, bureaucracy, responsibility
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176978DOI: 10.1017/9781108604994.007ISBN: 9781108474986 (print)ISBN: 9781108604994 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176978DiVA, id: diva2:1377490
Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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