Recently, I had a discussion with somebody, who told me that in her opinion a network organization is similar to Lean working. As I strongly disagreed, I could not find the words to explain myself. It did however intrigue me, so I kept thinking about it.
This is part one of two: the introduction.
The differences – a quick overview
In The Netherlands, a new phenomenon has risen: Organization 3.0. Until today, it is not clear what this is to most people, so it is also called Network Organization. However, there are differences.
|Organization 3.0||Network organization|
|Is born out of need.||Is a strategic decision.|
|Knows no management structure.||Knows a leadership structure.|
|Is not based on a mutual culture.||Looks for a mutual culture.|
|Focused on single entrepreneurs.||Usually found around medium to large companies, but possible for every sized company.|
|Focused on short, single projects and assignments to hand the result over to the customer.||Focused on projects to implement them in the daily operations.|
|Based on short term relationships.||Focused on long-term co-operation.|
|Discovery is the goal, not the means.||Discovery is the means, not the goal.|
|Goes for quick wins and high profits.||Goes for long-term profits.|
|Is mainly Dutch and even there relatively new.||Is globally implemented.|
So the differences are quite clear, even though there are some similarities to be found.
There are other forms of cooperation, e.g. chain partnership, joint ventures and enterprises. From what I know, these can all be seen as a form of network organization, while a network organization is not one of these forms of cooperation per se. A quick overview of how I see it.
Cooperation between suppliers, commissioners and traders. The earlier in the chain, the lower the revenues. Based on specific knowledge of the parties involved. Differs from the enterprise because of the cooperative nature, where every party should be equal. Differs from the network organization because the supplier can be replaced fairly quickly if he does not agree with the conditions imposed by the trader.
Cooperation between multiple companies. In this type of cooperation, everyone’s voice is to be heard, but a leader or spokesman can be assigned. Usually set up when all parties are more or less equal. Differs from a network organization for the joint venture exists of external parties only, while a network organization can be formed within a company as well.
Large company who acts as a customer (or bidder), with a lot of distinctive suppliers. Differs from the chain partnership because of its nature (long term relationship based on more respect for the mutual interest). Differs from the network organization because it does not necessarily looks for a mutual culture.
I haven’t studied on this, so I am sure I missed some points. Therefore, it is my point of view. I do love a good discussion where multiple points of views are given, so if you have to say something on this, please use the reaction form.
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