Self-Organization": A New Metaphor to Understand the Interdependences of the Organizations and their Environments
Self-organization metaphors have recently emerged to enrich research on organizational environment in particular, with respect to the networking view that presents organizational environment as a complex web of interactions among groups of organizations. The network analysis promotes the group members’ sensitivity to the variety in environmental demands. In an attempt to clarify how self-organization enhances the group’s sensitivity, we propose the interdisciplinary autopoietic and habitus-field models. The proposed self-organization models allow portraying business organizations as networks of decision communications and integrated partners. Self-referential and self-reflexivity processes have been utilized by the models to guide a group of decision makers and the network partners as they respond swiftly to changes in environmental demands. We qualitatively examine the models’ compatibility with open systems perspectives advocated by Scott (2003) in his multiple perspectives approach to organization theory. This is to demonstrate how self-organization models contribute to research on organizational environment. We conclude that self-referential and self-reflexivity processes add new insights to the responding mechanisms adopted by organization studies that share the same perspective with self-organization models.