Title: Designing inter-organisational collectivities for dynamic fit: stability, manoeuvrability and application in disaster relief endeavours

Authors: Mark E. Nissen

Addresses: Naval Postgraduate School, 1411 Cunningham Road, Monterey, CA 93943, USA

Abstract: The rich armamentarium of contingency theory can help to overcome the challenges of inter-organisational design. However, its predominate focus on static fit is incommensurate with the fundamentally dynamic nature of organisations and their environments. This problem is exacerbated in the context of inter-organisational design, particularly where the membership of participating organisations is discontinuous. Alternatively, recent research focusing on dynamic organisational fit and misfit elucidates novel design issues and engineering techniques even in the very complex inter-organisational context. In this article, we begin with a focused summary of dynamic fit and misfit, and we illustrate the use and utility of this view through empirical application to a very complex inter-organisational case involving thousands of participating organisations attempting to provide multinational disaster relief. The article concludes with an agenda for continued research along the lines of this investigation.

Keywords: contingency theory; disaster relief; dynamics; engineering; dynamic fit; inter-organisational collectivities; organisational design; emergency relief; emergency management; inter-organisational collaboration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJODE.2011.043807

International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering, 2011 Vol.1 No.4, pp.276 - 291

Published online: 24 Jan 2015 *

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