How can we


# Topic
1 Problems with hierarchies.
2 Combine hierarchies with use of social media.

3 People vote regularly.
4 Create small, independent teams.
5 People work independently and use social media to get things done.

6 How can markets help create win-win solutions?

Question # 1
What are some problems
with hierarchies?

Question # 2
How can we combine
hierarchies with the use
of social media? and are
among the tools that can help get information flowing
across functions and hierarchies.

Adapted from

# 1: Role clarity and
# 4: free flow of
information are
among most
effective traits for
creating good

In the collaborative model, the executive elite
drive strategy and operations. They also engage
in an on-going and extensive process of
consensus building.

Further inspiration

Question # 3
What if everyone
votes regularly?

2 strengths of democracies
 Individuals can participate in decision making,
for example by voting.
 Group decisions can force individuals to do things
for the overall good.

Malone, Thomas W.: The Future of Work, p. 70.

Weaknesses of democracies
 Much communication is needed.
 Everyone’s opinions count equally - even when
some people may be more competent than others.

Malone, Thomas W.: The Future of Work, p. 70.

Question # 4
How can we create
small, independent teams?

Question # 5
What if people work
independently and use social
media to get things done?

What if many tasks currently done by large
companies were done instead by temporary
combinations of small companies and independent
Taking this idea further, what if most businesses
consisted of 1 single person?
Malone, Thomas W.: The Future of Work, p. 74.

IT is critical to creating organizations where
 ideas are shared in an open marketplace.
 people get real-time feedback from customers and peers.
 relevant information from everyone gets integrated into
peer-based compensation decisions.

Temporary, flash communities can be formed to
solve a problem or to tackle an opportunity more
easily, more cheaply and faster than ever before.

The Web is an opt-in economy.
Whether contributing to a blog, working on an
open source project, or sharing advice in a forum,
people choose to work on the things that interest
them. Everyone is an independent contractor.

People, who do work for and, are encouraged to work on
whatever they want — to find the projects that engage them.
To be done well, this self organizing and open allocation model
requires that people
1. trust each other to make all their own decisions, and
2. communicate openly with everyone.

Method to working
without a boss

The best kind of platform invites people to get involved.
Some of these people build their own offerings, tools,
and applications on top of the platform.

In practice, platforms typically take the form of a
website, app, or other digital tool that connects
different types of users.

Consider the uses of workplace platforms in hospital systems.

Nurses must constantly be matched to departments
and cases, taking into consideration their specialized training,
availability, doctors’ preferences, and technical requirements.
Sophisticated software can better deploy the substantial float
pool of nurses and per-diem physicians, and the platform’s
real-time communication tools can help frontline medical
personnel access specialists immediately.


Closed system

Open system


Adapted from W. Richard Scott, 1981.


In any Web forum there are some individuals who
command more respect and attention than others and have more influence as a consequence.
Critically, though, these individuals haven’t been
appointed by some superior authority. Instead,
their clout reflects the freely given approbation of
their peers.

Question # 6
How can markets help
create win-win solutions?


Closed system

Adapted from: W. Richard Scott, 1981.

Open system


3 strengths of markets
# 1: Autonomy
People have the power to decide things individually.
# 2: Freedom and flexibility
Anyone is free to work on any aspect of a problem.
# 3: Efficiency
People move to assignments where they can generate value.
Adapted from
Malone, Thomas W.: The Future of Work, p. 106.

Low degree of
controlling detail

High degree of
controlling detail






Self control

As economists like Ronald Coase and Oliver
Williamson have noted, markets work well when
the needs of each party are simple, stable, and
easy to specify, but they’re less effective when
interactions are complex.

Markets are very good at doing something where
hierarchies typically underperform.
Over the last 50 years, the New York Stock Exchange
has outperformed every company on the New York
Stock Exchange.

Weaknesses of markets
# 1: Incentive problems
Agreements that would be good overall often don’t
happen because they are not in the self interests of the
parties involved.
# 2: Communication needs
A lot of communication is usually needed.
Malone, Thomas W.: The Future of Work, p. 106.

Further inspiration

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful