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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Organising the World

Presented by Professor Nils Brunsson, Chair in Management at Uppsala University.

In our contemporary world, people interact and communicate at greater distances than ever before, and interaction and communication reinforce and are reinforced by strong global similarities. An increasing number of categories are now being used worldwide. States, firms, and unions, for example, can be found virtually everywhere, and they tend to nurture similar ideas and behave in similar ways. Their very similarity makes it possible to differentiate among them according to status—there are global status orders providing world champions in sports, universities, and cities.

Much of this global order is best understood as the result of organisation, although not always the type of organisation that has been the object for organisation theory. Organisation is a phenomenon that takes place not only within but also outside and between formal organisations. Global organisation comes in many forms, including multinational corporations, international meta-organisations, standardisation and ranking systems.

Professor Nils Brunsson

Professor Nils BrunssonProfessor Brunsson is affiliated to Score (Stockholm Centre for Organisational Research). He has published numerous articles and more than 20 books in the field of organisation theory, including Mechanisms of Hope (2006), The Consequences of Decision-Making (2007), Meta-Organisations (with G Ahrne) (2008) and Reform as Routine (2009). At present he is leading a research program on the organisation of markets.

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