Four Archetypal Networked Organisations

Willem Treurniet, Kim van Buul

Abstract

Complex and multifaceted problems such as emergencies typically require coordinated effort by a network of different organisations. These networks typically rely less on formal hierarchical structures and instead have a stronger focus on allowing the dynamics to emerge in the process of collaboration. A balance has to be achieved between the internal dynamics of the various member organisations that make up the network on the one hand, and the emerging dynamics of the network collaboration itself on the other – and the precise nature of this balance will depend on the context. To help those making decision on how to achieve that balance, we have developed a framework describing four archetypal networked organisations: fragmented, deconflicted, coordinated, and collaborative and agile. The four archetypes have two purposes. Firstly, they can be used to guide networked organisations as they adapt to changing administrative and societal contexts. Secondly, they can be used to express the dynamics of the development of a response organisation in a particular emergency situation.

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