GoViral – a new kind organization

Exam n: 1802 Student : Daniele Montemale Course: Sociology of organization Professor: Helge Albrechtsen University of Copenhagen June 2007


GoViral – a new kind organization
Daniele Montemale

Abstract…………………………………………………………………...3 Presentation of the problem and theoretical prospectives ………………..3 • • • Analysis and discussion ………………………………………....4 GoViral – the organization……………………….………………4 Organizations and the new prospectives………….………………5 Organization and communication ……………………….……….8 Organization and identity….……………….…………………….10 Organization and knowledge………….………………………....13 Luhmann and the communication. A new point of view…..….....15

• • •

Further perspectives and Conclusion………………………………………17



This essay describes how the technologies that organizations use are changing the world. In this essay, I use GoViral, a viral marketing agency where I am working as an example. Having an extremely specific and complex marketing system, this agency’s work and structure, represents a new kind of organization, a mixture between a network and a virtual organization. This essay is also useful to me because I am writing a thesis for my MA about GoViral and the virtual worlds and how these two can work together and coexist.

Presentation of the problem and theoretical prospectives
From October 2006 I am working for GoViral ( What is GoViral? It is an agency for viral marketing. What is viral marketing? According to Wikipedia: “Viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use preexisting social networks, produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet” ( I am an Italian seeder. This means that I work for the Italian market but, being on the net interconnected with the entire world, my virus (spot, video etc.) will therefore also be watched around the world. I work withinternet from Denmark to Italy with a link with all the world. Usually I work at home because is not necessary my presence at the office. The topic of my essay want to describe shortly my experience at GoViral and how it works. I want to explain then, starting from an analysis about organizations, how this agency represent a mirror of a kind of organization between the network organization and the virtual organization. It means thatGoViral can be imagined as an organization no yet described in the big theory of organizations because in the next future it will be almost completely virtual going to works in a virtual world. To support my study, I discuss how communication, identity and knowledge are today essential for a good and useful organization. Then I describe the theory of communication of Luhmann and how in the society where we live today, it is not important the presence of the single person, as amply described to Luhmann, but neither where they are phisically. At the end of my study I describe how the society and the organization are going to meet in the next future. To support this theory about the new transition, I have used the theory of alienation of Marx and how this still exist in our society but in a different way that the author had hypothesized. The second one 3

I had used is the theory of synthetic worlds of Edward Castronova. This professor is one of the most experts of virtual worlds and he analyzes the new virtual worlds and how they work analyzing the hypothesize potentials and as much risks.

Analysis and discussion
1 GoViral – the organization
GoViral is an agency created in 2003 from Jimmy Maymann, Thomas Weikop and Balder Olrik. The agency is situated in four locations: global management and technical research and development are located in Copenhagen while sales offices, media planning and consulting are located in London, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Hamburg. Partner of this agency are situated in Italy, Russia and Japan. ActuallyGoViral is an organization with more then 40 people situated around Europe. The agency is leader in Europe and it operates around the world. The network is operative in 27 territories organized partly centrally and partly locally in the different territories. The area where GoViral works is called viral marketing (VM). From the site of Goviral: “viral marketing is consumer-driven marketing as opposed to traditional interruption marketing that is controlled and driven by the marketer. It is a planned initiative where you, as an advertiser or creative agency, develop and spread online marketing messages (viral agents) that have qualities that motivate the receiver to become a sender. It's the marketing discipline of today's consumercentric networked marketing landscape”.GoViral works in a close relation with media agencies, creative agencies and advertisers. They consult in the early phases of campaign development and planning as well as provide intelligence and feedback to the advertisers and media planers to do pass then the campaign oninternet. Clients of GoViral are national and global level too as Mtv, Sony, Adidas, Nissan and Axe.

The strategy used in the viral marketing strategy is called spread. Infact, with the VM the commercial is viewed as a virus who is spread on the net. To spread a viral it is necessary a seeder who do that. For GoViral seeders “are the people who spread the campaign material. A good seeder is a person who continuously works on maintaining relations with a larger group of connection points on theinternet. The seeder inspires online editors and influences who control online connection points. He or she feeds them with good stories, including viral campaign material, and 4

makes sure that the campaign gets featured in as many relevant places as possible. A good seeder has great social skills, and is witty and persuasive”. My experience in this agency is started from the October 2006 when I was hired as a seeder. In these months, during my work, I have been able to see how this organization cares about communication, identity and knowledge. These are factors that in the new era ofinternet called web 2.0 are indispensable for a good and successful organization.

2 Organizations and the new prospectives
Speaking about what is an organization is always difficult. The problem is that the organizations are entity complex and dynamic specially in the last years thanks to the technology it is possible use today. ForPulgar Rodriguez: (1999) Una organizacion es una entidad compleja y estructurada de caracter social, cuya coordinacion se realiza de una manera consciente y cuyos limites son relativamente identificables, que opera un objetivo comun o una serie de objectivos “An organization is a complex and structured organization of social character, whose coordination is made of a conscious way and whose the limits are relatively identifiable, that operates a common objective or a series of objectives” . (p 16, 1999). Its social character implies that this is composed by individuals reunite in groups in permanent interaction. And in fact certain that in the organizations the individuals regulate its stuffs according to comunicatives guidelines, premeditated, or no, it derives necessity to coordinate such models.

Thanks to globalization that has created today a multitude of links, organizations can operate and develop themselves everywhere. According with Mary Jo, “every organization expresses aspects of the national, regional, industrial, occupational and professional cultures in and through which it operates” (1997) The organizations today live a new re-generation and they are becoming more integrate with every single sphere of the society. I amin fact quite in discord with Rodriguez when he says
Los limites de la organizacion varian con el transcurrir del tiempo, pero siempre habrà una frontiera definida a sus miembros de quienes no lo son.


“The limits of the organization vary with the pass of the time, but always there will be a border defined to its members of those who are not it” (p 36, 1999)”. The border that Rodriguez argues about, is going to reduce and maybe in the future it will be almost disappear. For a more exhaustive analysis about this, I invite the reader to refer the paragraph about identity.

The organizations are divided in open and closed. An organization closed will be that one does not receive energy from some external source, where the energy come from. Today this form of organization is tending to failure while an open organization is able to continue to live with its interaction with the external. In fact as Pulgar Rodriguez argues
“una organizazion abierta mantiene un permanente intercambio con su entorno, recibiendo inputs y devolviendo outputs, con una evidente influencia ambiental y social”.

“An organization opened maintains a permanent interchange with its surroundings, receiving inputs and giving back outputs, with an evident environmental and social influence”.

The modern organization that want to be excellent in their work, where almost its values are intangible (empathy, confidence, knowledge, relation), have an extreme necessity to manage the human factor and the internal organization specially with its employees. In fact, today everyone in an organization can communicate with theexternal in a simply and fast way thanks with internet and its many tools. Actually the employees are the real resource of an organization. According with Rodriguez in fact
El trabajador sera un excelente portavoz de la compania si posee la informacion necessaria y se identifica plenamente con la cultura de la organizacion.

“The employee will be an excellent spokesman of the company if he has the fundamental information necessary to identify itself totally with the culture of the organization”. To be an excellent spokesman today is possible specially through technology. As O’Kane argues “technology has impacted upon the structure of organizations. Employees haveinstant access to senior managers via their e-mail address or Instant Messaging (IM).. Technology influences the ease and ability with which they complete tasks and so influences their identity as effective employees”. Employees in fact, spend much of their working time using technology and so their evaluation of it is strongly related to job satisfaction.


To obtain this, of course it is necessary create motivating factors to develop then a satisfaction, not only between managers but also and specially for the employees. The motivating factors facilitate participation and integration of the individual in the organization. In an organization the objective is to obtain the agree between the interests of the organization as institution with the individuals that integrate it. Satisfaction, in fact, is a concept related to the climate although it is centered on something to particular, whereas the climate refer to the organization like a whole, in such a way that the unit of analysis in the satisfaction is the individual, and in the climate is the organization. To manage an internal communication and manage this with the external, following a study of Rodriguez in his Comunicacion de empresa en entornos turbolentos, an organization needs: (p70) 1. Construir una entidad de empresa – create an entity of the organization. Logo, brand identity and brand image are a good begin to create an entity 2. Promover el conocimiento de la empresa – Promote the experience of the organization. This point is probably the most important and relevant today. Between its own website, an organization can claim its potential clients and followers who they are (identity), what they do (knowledge), its portfolio (experience). But not only this. In the era of web 2.0 where everything is under the sharing and the clearness, organization are changing also their strategies through technology. Corporate blogs and corporatesocial networks are becoming a normal integration with the most innovative organizations and soon it will be common for the others as got a website. 3. Informar a los empleados – notify with the employees. It’s essential for the internal communication to have then an interaction with clients and followers between internet.
4. Universalizar la posibilidad de expresion – universalize the possibility of expression. All this today

is possible thanks to the current technology. Managers have to understand this to have a better production of products and service. Trying to define more specifically what an organization is and to discover its new development, I think the nature of GoViral seems for some aspects what Mary Jo calls Interorganizational Network. For the author in fact “every organization interacts with their members of its environment. The interactions allow the organization to acquire raw materials, hire employees, 7

secure capital, obtain knowledge..the inter-organizational network consist of suppliers, customers, competitors, agencies” (p 65, 1997). To sustain my thesis about how GoViral can represent a new kind of organisation today, I found some characteristics of Goviral in more then one type of organization that . Mintzberg describes in his The Strategy Process – Concepts, Contexts, Cases (fourth edition, 2003). The three forms are Starbust, Spider web but specially Virtual organization. The first for is characterises by an highly specialization and valuable intellect. Starbust in fact “are common in creative organizations that constantly peel off more permanent…units like shooting stars from their core competencies.” (p287, 2003). In the second form is not necessary intervening hierarchy or order-giving center among the nodes. As the author propose, in a spider’s web “the locus of intellect is highly dispersed…solutions are developed around a project or problem that requires the nodes to interact intimately or to seek others who happen to have the knowledge orspecial capabilities that a particular problem requires”. (p 288, 2003). The virtual organization at last, is an organization in which employees, suppliers and customers are geographically dispersed but united by technology. GoViral, in fact has not only four agencies in different countries but also around 20 seeders around Europe that have every single contact with the agency only with virtual communications. About this, I am completely agree with Mintzberg when he argues that “electronic technologies have been used by other companies to push the limits of virtual relationships. In this way, virtual companies have created more customized relation with their clients but with the partners too creating many advantages for themselves. In these kind of organization there is a kind of flexibility never seen before of five or ten years ago. The employees who work in these organizations not need work full-time from 9 AM to 5PM.” (p 238, 2003)

3 Organization and communication
Communication has been shown to be at the centre of successful organizations and so the challenge for business is to create a communication system that is both effective andefficient. As Argues O’Kane “ a key feature of the organizational landscape has been the surging river of technology that has become a torrent in recent years” (2004). In the last ten years the way to communicate is radically changed. From the 1992 when internet has had its last metamorphosis into the World Wide Web, thanks his father Tim Barners Lee of Genve’s Cern, communication is increased in an exponentially way. Mobiles, faxes but also palms are only the first instruments of this new era of communication. Then, at the end of the century till some years ago, the communication had taken the name of E-communication. O’Kane argues: “E-communication tools have emerged from the 8

bedrooms of geeks and the garden sheds of nerds to form a vital part of the communicativeinfrastructure of organizations”. In the last three years all communications between internet had have a substantive increasing in potential and in number too. Not only individuals, but also organizations had learned how to use these multitude of technology for their communication internal and external too. At the beginning the organization communicated with the external just with their website that had to represent the company image. But to emerge, a website had to be interested and well designed and specially useful for the users. According with O’Kane “This does not mean that all the current information can simply be lifted from brochures and uploaded onto website. The net has its own distinctive personality, due to itsrichness in graphics, sound and picture, navigational functionality and interactivity”.
From then till now, a website of an organization is became only one option to communicate. Today it is possible communicate thanks to e-mail, chat room, or forum but also with other forms of communication like blogs. ForWikipedia “a blog (short for web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic.” While a blog can be used from an employee or directly from a manager, there are the corporate blogs who are managed from the organization. According with Wikipedia “a corporate blog is published and used by an organization to reach its organizational goals. The advantage of blogs is that posts and comments are easy to reach and follow due to centralized hosting and generally structured conversation threads”.

A corporate blog is published and used by an organization to reach its organizational goals. The advantage of blogs is that posts and comments are easy to reach and follow due to centralized hosting and generally structured conversation threads. An effective corporate blog can develop several connection creating a network between nodes. Another advantage is the possibility to communicate every day in a chronological order, creating a group of followers interested in what the organization does but also in which its believes. The followers, of course, can be employees as external visitors. The primary function of a corporate blog today is network building. They are participatory communication tools that can be encourage complex discussions and build connections between key audiences. Communication with mobile but specially with the analogical telephone are going to dead inside the most technological organization. New technologies are taking the place of the old 9

ones asVOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and IM (istant messaging). These technology allow to create a communication with all the members of the organization but also with clients and partners. It is possibleinfact transmit with more than one telephone call, in other words create a multiconversation. These two technologies can become more immersive than a “normal” telephone with the integratation of other services available over the Internet, including video conversation, message or data file exchange in parallel with the conversation. One of the last communication technology on the net who actually is becoming popular in the communication strategy of the organizations are the social networks.Wikipedia defines a social network as “ a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of relations”. The possibility to develop a social network around an organization can create a good awareness of itself to the external enterprises, and a strong and potential relationship with common people. The communication that an organization potentially can use today permit to itself not only an high reduction of the cost, but specially an higher number of connection with the intern but also with theexternal. In this way, it is possible create and manage a network of contacts and trying to increase it. GoViral is a perfect example of this kind of organization. All managers and employees use laptops with internet and the communication are usually between internet and sometimes face-to-face. Email, Voip and IM are used several time each day from all the worker while blogs and forums are used only from some members. Otherwise, Corporate blogging and social network are still not in the kind of communications that the organization use. E-mails,chat groups, instant messages as social networks and the web in general, have one thing in common: they are all electronic interaction where the subject-mattercomprises real things in the real world. But all these communication are virtual. But the next step that organization as normal users will do is to communicate inside a virtual world in three dimension between their avatars, that is to say a projection of themselves in another place.

4 Organization and identity
Organizational identity as a concept has two uses. First, it is employed by scientists to define and characterize certain aspects of organizations; secondly, it is a concept that organizations use to characterize aspects of themselves.Concept of organizational identity must be a statement of identity which distinguishes the organization on the basis of something important and essential.


As Erickson refers in his Identity and the life cycle (1980), “identity is a kind of classification of the self that identifies the individual as recognizably different from others and similar to members of the same class”.Greenwald and Breckler (1985; Greenwald and Breckler, 1986) for instance, distinguished among “private”, “public”, and “collective” facets of the identity. For the authors “The public self represent aspects of the self-concept most sensitive to the evaluation of significant others and consist ofcognition about the self that reflect interactions and relationships with those others. The collective reflects internalizations of the norms and characteristics of important reference groups”. The main point of this study about identity is on the theory of Mead. He is real clear about identity. For the author it should be viewed as a social process with two different phases. The first one he called “I” and the second one “me”. How he has argued: “ The “I” is the response of the organism to the attitude of the others, it is in a certain sense that with which we do identify ourselves; the “me” is the organized set of the attitudes of others which one himself assumes. The attitudes of the others constitute the organized “me”, and then one reacts toward that as an “I”.” He considered the two parts distinguishable and interdependent. They are distinguishable because “in that the “me” is the self a person is aware of, whereas the “I” is something that is not given in the me” (Mead, 1934: 175), while they are interdependent “in that the “I” is the answer which the individual makes to the attitude which others take toward him when he assumes anattitude toward them” (Mead, 1934: 178). This last point is actually important for every single organization and specially, for their members. In fact, organizational members not only develop their identity in relation to what others say about them, but also in relation to who they perceive they are. As Jo Hatch and Majken Schultz said “In a world of increased exposure to critical voices, many organizations find creating and maintaining their identities problematic. For example the media is taking more and more interest in the private lives of organizations and in exposing any divergence it finds between corporate images and organizational actions.Organizational efforts to draw their external stakeholders into a personal relationship with them allow access that expands their boundaries and thereby changes theirorganizational self-definitions”. Following the two authors we can understand how in a period where internet is already developed as the big medium who envelopes everyone and everything, the privacy and the identity of the public person is going to change. But probably, the most important thing is that also the identity of the organizations and of their employees is going to change. An internet site of an 1

organization at the beginning, and a corporate blog as a corporate social network now, are instruments not only to inform and communicate with the others but specially they are the key to delete or at least decrease the wall between organizations with theexternal. This new form of link between the two parts, create new inputs about the theory of Mead specially for the part of “me”. In fact, while before it was possible have an idea of the organization only from the external, today it is possible have an idea of that also from the other side, that is to say inside it. Today the password is clearness and with the new technology this is possible. Organization are trying to manage it but sometimes it can be worse. The reasons are manifolds. For example they can not be ready to explain to the external how they really work or they can not be able to explain what they do or most generic they can use a language not appropriate to communicate with theexternal. Otherwise, managers and employees can finally communicate directly with the external without a strong link with the organization. This is for example what I am doing with my blog ( With the blog in fact, I speak sometimes about my organization and I can say everything I think about that because I am the owner of the blog, of my medium. This last example is useful to understand another important point. This big andexponentially freedom and clearness take a potential profit in identity awareness but, it can be a double edged sword. In fact , while an employee can communicate about his or her organization in a positive way, otherwise he or she can do that exactly in the opposite way. Another important theory to try to describe how identity is viewed inside an organization is the Organizational identification theory of Dutton, Dukerich and Harquail. For the authors “Organizational Identification is the degree to which a member defines him or herself by the same attributes that he or she believes define the organization (Dutton et al , 1994, p 239)…the perceived organizational identity..can serve as a powerful image influencing the degree to which the member identifies with the organization” (p 244). Following Dutton, he divides also people in Insiders and Outsiders. While the first group are member of an organization, the second are not members of the same organization. He also argued that “ (A) while the insiders believe then the “outsiders” coherently believe that outsiders think anything in particular, (B) insiders coherently view outsiders ashomogeneous or a multitude of groups, (C) insider possible beliefs about outsiders thoughts, to the extent the insiders have such beliefs, assume that outsiders think of the organization as distinctive, central and enduring”. As I argued before with Mead, between the intern or the external of an organization or to say as Dutton between insiders and outsiders, the separation will be always more thin. If an 1

employee or specially a manager think that the insiders believe that outsiders think anything in particular about his or herorganization or worse, they view view outsiders only as homogeneous or at last as multitude of groups, they can have really serious problem specially in identity.

5 Organization and knowledge
The capacity to manage intellect and to convert it into useful outputs has become the critical executive skill of the era. Knowledge can take many different forms and can derive from many sources: figures, information, written instructions, stories, rumors, gossip, beliefs and so on and thanks to Internet, today knowledge can take a form more ample, simple and specially shared with the world community.GoViral , being an organization conscious of its capacity and potential manages its knowledge and shares it with all members of the agency.Infact, As Peter Drucker observed that “we are entering the information society in which the basic economic resource is no longer capital.. but is and will be knowledge” (Drucker, 1995: 42), while for Lam, knowledge “is increasingly regarded as the critical resource of firms and economies” (Lam, 2000). In the organizations knowledge management has become a major trend. Wikipedia speaks about Knowledge Management as a “comprises a range of practices used by organisations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness and learning”. Continuing to describe what Knowledge management is, VonStamm affirms it is as “the process of managing knowledge to meet existing and future needs, and to exploit present knowledge to develop opportunities for further knowledge” (VonStamm 2003). Knowledge management (KM) can be seen as arising due to a number of contemporary trends in organization. An interesting explanation about this is been managed by Theodore, Zorn and Taylor (Theodore E., Zorn an James R. Taylor in Hargie O (p 100, 2004). The authors in fact affirms 1 KM may be seen as part of the general trend towards an increase in what is commonly referred to as knowledge work 2 Second and closely related to the rise of knowledge work is the recognition intellectual capital as a source of organizational success


3 the third reason for the emergence of KM is the fallout from organizational trends of the past decade. 4 Fourth, KM has emerged in response to the explosion of information and the subsequent problem of information overload 5 Fith, KM is in part a response to problems created by globalized, networked organizations, including the problem of distributed expertise. A closed theory of KM is the tacit and explicit knowledge that is borrowed from Polany (Polany, 1966) and specially to Nonaka and Takeuchi (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). The last ones authors argued that tacit knowledge is “ deeply rooted in an individual’s action and experience2 (p. 8); when it is codified and externalized, this becomes explicit knowledge (i.e. written, drawn) and only at that point does it become useful to the organization as a whole. In this explicit form, knowledge become a re-combination, and becomestransmissible”. For Nonaka and Takeuchi, explict knowledge is the formalized, accessible knowledge that can be consciously thought, communicated and shared. Otherwise, tacit knowledge consists in that personal beliefs, values and perspectives that people take for assimilate. The two authors consider four kind of steps of knowledge. 1. 2. 3. 4. socialization (tacit to tacit) People learn something to the others in a implicitly form externalization (tacit to explicit) Something to confide with the others internalisation (explicit to tacit) Something that people learned and take them for granted combination (explicit to explicit) Share knowledge In a world where everything is linking with something else, where it is potential possible find everything and everyone, the fourth point of this scheme appears extremely important. It is not a casein fact that we live in an era of internet called web 2.0 where the password is the sharing. Wikipedia defines “Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly in 2003 and popularized by the first Web 2.0 conference in 2004, refers to a perceived secondgeneration of web-based communities and hosted services…that facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.” The last point that I want to describe is collaboration, a synonymous of sharing. Collaboration is an important means to access new knowledge and transfer skills that an 1

organization lacks.Tidd, Bessant and Pavitt (in Managing knowledge and learning of Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis 2001) identified three issue to determine a good collaboration: 1. an organization must have the intent to learn through collaboration 2. it requires transparency 3. finally, referring to the capacity to actually learn These main points are in fact the roots of how the companies that have to work in internet and specially for it. Transparency, collaboration, sharing are indispensable to have a good relation with the net and with the single individuals or, at least, with the other companies.

6 Luhmann and the communication. A new point of view
In this last paragraph I want to argue Luhmann and his theory on communication. Although his study had have many critics specially because there isn’t any scientific study behind the theory it is somehow interesting how Luhmann has captured the essence of the society today where everything go around the communication and where reality denigrates the importance of the individual and man become only a merefragment of a collective. For this study about organization is important consider how Luhmann sees the society as an autopoietic system, the organizations inside the system and specially the figure of man, The term autopoyesis was originally introduced by the biologists Humberto Maturama and Francisco Varela in 1973. For the authors : "An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and (ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network. (p. 78)… the space defined by anautopoietic system is self-contained and cannot be described by using dimensions that define another space." (Maturana, Varela, 1980, p. 89). From the concept of autopoietic machine, Niklas Luhmann takes the roots and the essence of it to study society. The Author infact speaks about society as an ”Autopoietic systems that produce the elementary units they consist of elementary units…From this theoretical basis, organised social system can beundestood as systems made up of decisions, and capable of 1

completing the decisions that make them up, through the decisions that make them up. Decision is not understood as a psychological mechanism, but a matter of communication not as a psychological event but as a social event” (p 35, 2003). The core element of Luhmann's theory is that society works through communication. As Ole Thyssen, one of the most important author who studied Luhmann’s theories, argues “Social systems are systems of communication, and society is the most encompassing social system. Being the social system that comprises all (and only) communication, today's society is a world society” where “Communication is an autonomous and closed process” (Luhmann 1985, p 205). In this context the organization is conceived as a system oriented towards aims, and as capable of selecting to introduce a formal system of authority and where they “are produced and reproduced when communication isderecred at decision and closes operatively on this basis” (Luhmann 200, p 63). But, how I explained at the beginning of the paragraph, what I want to focus is the figure about man, about the single. In fact, for Luhmann ’s theory “a person is two-sided form, on the one hand an enormous amount of biological and psychic operations, and on the other hand a structure in the social system, a sign or its self behaviour” (Ole, 2003). For anautopoietic system as society where all is manage through communication, the biological part is not essential while the psychic part is uses as tool to pass a message of communication. It isin fact the core point the Luhmann ’s theory. Humans are only mere instrument of communication where the body is not essential as to communication operates in a virtual way. After argued this, it is possible now explain my conclusion. It seems that Luhmann has overseen what today is happening. With the technology the society got today, the amount of communication is becoming always bigger and virtual. In all of this men, as a single mere unit are not important for the communication, neither for society. But, if today it is possible communicate to everyone and everywhere, thus it is possible too be everywhere to communicate. My conclusion is, to paraphrase Luhmann, that today's autopoietic society system neither cares about a person as an individual, nor where he or she is situated. As an example of this latter point, currently there is acontinuous emigration of educated professionals from one country to another since it is no longer necessary for someone to stay, for example in Denmark to work for a danish company, The most innovative organizations are already using this system to work. For example I am working for a danish agency, but ultimately for the Italian market. Since the modern communication capabilities permits me to be anywhere, itdoesn't matter if I'm in Denmark, Italy or China, because as long as I have a link to the interent, the organization cares more that I am connected than where I am physically. 1

Further perspectives and Conclusion
The tools to work in an organization have changed and continue to change. Today is possible to work almost anywhere, even from an employee’s own house. Many employees actually are working from their house. The password of this change transition is: manage yourself. Working at home, which allows the employee to more efficiently manage his or her time, working for tasks and not for hours. There is another side of the coin. A new kind of alienation is growing in the society. As Marx said: “workers may be alienated from the product of the labor… workers can also be alienated from the process of the production” that “ the work is external to the worker, that is not part of his nature…his work in not voluntary but imposed”. Therefore Paraphrasing Marx, today if it is possible to work at home and if the work is not a part of the nature of the man, the worker at home can feel alienation. This is in fact what is going to happen. Additionally, an important blogger wrote “a new breed of 'bedouins ' manage to escape the potential isolation of working totally from home, while working in places that feel most comfortable to them. And the great thing about flitting betweenwifi-enabled cafes is that if you feel like a change of scene, you simply have to pack up your laptop and head off to pastures” (Masternewmedia .com). Many employees who work from their houses, have not managed to separate their own time with the time they dedicate to their job. A fusion of both of these times is the new form of alienation, where the workerdoesn’ t know if he is working or not when he is at home. But there is more. In a world where communication is becoming more enhanced and virtual, society needs a place where time and, especially, space are relative. For this necessity, in the last ten and especially the last three, years, numerous virtual worlds have been created, which are becoming increasingly influential in the society, inprimis Secondlife . Anthropologists see in these worlds as new cultures, while entrepreneurs see them as new, markets, lawyers as new precedents, and social and political experts as new pressures and a looming crisis. Castronova, a professor at Chicago University as well as one of the most respected experts on this topic, calls these worlds, synthetic. According toCastronova. Synthetic worlds are “an 1

expansive, world-like, represented graphically in 3D, large-group environment made by humans, for humans, which is maintained, recorded, and rendered by a computer” (p. 69, 2004).. “a place where thousand of users interact with one another in the guise of video game characters, on a persistent basis: many hours a day, every day, all year around” (p 67, 2004). Actually many global, national and multinational organizations are working in these synthetic worlds, specially in Secondlife. They are opening their shops or offices in Secondlife to meet potential clients from all over the world. Also Goviral is trying to open an office in Secondlife. First, because Secondlife is a place where viral marketing can work and the agency actually is trying to make it work; Second, because Goviral is in continuing research with their employees and clients scattered around the world, the research of freedom of space and time can be filled up with a synthetic world like Secondlife. Between the society and the synthetic world there is, what Castronova calls, Membrane. For the author “the Membrane can be considered a shield of sorts, protecting the synthetic world form the outside world. This membrane is actually quite porous…people are crossing it all the time in both a result, the valuation of things in cyberspace becomes enmeshed in the valuation of things outside cyberspace”.Furthermore , synthetic worlds can create many problems to the society. These problems can happen around a single man, an organization, or society, whichCastronova calls toxic immersion and it “occurs when people voluntarily spend all of their time in these worlds.”



Compendium of Sociology of Organization

Cases in the field of organisational sociology Darmer, Per (1998), ’Are the Independent Labels Really Independent?’, Working Paper No. 1999.21, Institut for Organisation og Arbejdssociologi, CBS, pp. 1 - 29 (29 p.). Borum, Finn and Westenholz, Ann (1995), ’The Incorporation of Multiple Institutional Models: Organizational Field Multiplicity and the Role of Actors’, in W.R. Scott and S Christensen, The Institutional Construction of Organizations. International and Longitudinal Studies, Thousand Oaks et al.: Sage Publications, pp. 113 - 135 (22 p.). Christensen, Søren og Molin, Jan (1995), ’Origin and Transformation of Organizations: Institutional Analysis of the Danish Red Cross’, in W.R. Scott and S Christensen, The Institutional Construction of Organizations. International and Longitudinal Studies, Thousand Oaks et al.: Sage Publications, pp. 67 - 90 (24 p.). Scott, W. Richard (1992), ’Three Perspectives on Organizations’, Chap. 2 in R.W. Scott, Organizations. Rational, Natural and Open Systems, 3rd ed., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall International, pp. 27 - 51 (24 p.). Scott, W. Richard (1998), ’Three Perspectives on Organizations’, Chap. 3 - 5 in R.W. Scott, Organizations. Rational, Natural and Open Systems, 4th ed., Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall International, pp. 56 - 121 (65 p.). Hatch, Mary Jo (1997), ’The environment of Organization’, in M.J. Hatch, Organization Theory. Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives, Oxford et al.: Oxford University Press, pp. 63 - 98 (35 p.). Hatch, Mary Jo (1997), ’Organizational Culture’, in M.J. Hatch, Organization Theory. Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives, Oxford et al.: Oxford University Press, pp. 200 - 240 (40 p.). Hatch, Mary & Schultz, Majken (2004), ‘The Dynamics of Organizational Identity’, in Hatch, M. & Schultz, M. (eds.), Organizational Identity. A Reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 377 - 403 (27 p.). Yukl, Gary (2002), ’The nature of Leadership & The nature of Managerial Work’, Chap. 1 & 2 in Yukl, G., Leadership In Organizations, 5th ed., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, pp. 1 - 48 (48 p.) Organisations and change through learning Clegg, S., Kornberger, M. & Pitsis, T. (2005), ‘Managing Knowledge and Learning. Communities, Collaboration, Boundaries, in Clegg et al., Managing and Organizations. An Introduction to Theory and Practice, London et al.: SAGE Publications, pp. 341 - 370 (29 p.).


Nymark, Søren R. (2002), ’Value-based Management in Learning Organizations Through ’hard’ and ’soft’ Managerial Approaches: The case of Hewlett-Packard, The Icfaian Journal of Management Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 59 - 75 (17 p.). Alversson, Mats (2003), ‘Interpretive Unpacking: Moderately Destabilizing Identities and Images in Organization Studies’, in E.A. Locke (ed.), Postmodernism and Management: Pros, Cons and the Alternative, Oxford: Elsevier Science, pp. 3 – 28 (27 p.). Porter, K.A. and Powell, W.W. (2006), ‘Networks and Organizations’, in Clegg et al. (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Organization Studies, 2. ed., London et al.: SAGE publications, pp. 776 - 800 (24 p.). Habermann, Ulla (2002), ’The ’third’ sector and the Welfare State – development and research’, paper given at Reykjavik University, Iceland, April 2002 and at the Arnova Conference in Montreal, Canada, November 2002, pp. 1 - 21 (21 p.). Luhmann, Niklas (2003), ’Organization’, in T. Bakken and T. Hernes (eds.), Autopoietic Organization Theory. Drawing on Niklas Luhmann’s Social Systems Perspective, Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag et al., pp. 31 - 53 (22 p.). Thyssen, Ole (2003), ‘Luhmann and management: A critique of the management theory in Organisation und Entscheidung’, in T. Bakken and T. Hernes (eds.), Autopoietic Organization Theory. Drawing on Niklas Luhmann’s Social Systems Perspective, Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag et al., pp. 213 - 234 (22 p.). Scott, W. Richard (1998), ’Organizational Pathologies’, in W.R. Scott, Organizations. Rational, Natural and Open Systems, 5th ed., Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall International, pp. 326 - 350 (24 p.). Türk, Klaus (1999), ‘The Critique of the Political Economy of Organization’. International Journal of Political Economy, vol. 29, no. 3, Fall 1999, pp. 6 - 32 (27 p.). • • • Crystal D.: “Language and the internet”, Cambridge Univerity press, 2006 (1 – 26, 178 – 211) Tourish D., Hargie O.: “Key issues in organizational communication”, Routledge, 2004 ( 1 –17, 74 – 113, 157 – 172, 220 - 234) Hatch J., Shultz M. “Organizational identity” reader, Oxford university press, 2004 (16 – 35, 66 – 119, 377 – 407, 510 – 558)

• •

Castronova E., “Synthetic worlds”, The University press of Chicago, 2005, (1 – 285 ) H. Mintzberg, J. Lampel, J.B.Quinn & S. Ghoshal: “The Strategy Process – Concepts, Contexts, Cases” Fourth Edition, Prentice Hall, Financial Time, Pearson Education 2003 (, 201 –241, 295 – 309, 380 – 388) Rodriguez, L. d. P, : « Comunicacion de empresa en entornos turbolentos », Esic editorial , 1999 (17 – 21, 40 – 61)



Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful