This chapter seeks to enhance organizational theory's current typology of organizational architectures to explain a flourishing modern architecture that has developed utilizing the inexpensive communication paths created by technology such as the Internet and wireless networks. As communication and coordination costs have dropped, new organizing methods have grown that are difficult to understand using the traditional organizational architectures. In this chapter, we introduce a new community architecture, the “C-form,” which is categorized by (1) fluid, informal peripheral boundaries of membership; (2) significant incorporation of voluntary labor; (3) information-based product output; and (4) significantly open sharing of knowledge. Although the domain of open source software (OSS) is frequently cited as an example of such communities, we argue that the form expands well beyond the domain of software to a wide variety of information-based products. Drawing on a culture frame, we develop an initial set of principles of C-forms and finally explore the implications of the C-form for the modern organizational world.
Seidel, M.-D.L. and Stewart, K.J. (2011), "An Initial Description of the C-Form", Marquis, C., Lounsbury, M. and Greenwood, R. (Ed.) Communities and Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 33), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 37-72. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2011)0000033005Download as .RIS
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