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Systems 2017, 5(2), 36; doi:10.3390/systems5020036

Inside Out: Organizations as Service Systems Equipped with Relational Boundaries

1
Department of Economics and Management, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares 28801, Spain
2
Department of Business Science—Management & Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Fisciano 84084, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ockie Bosch
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [980 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Currently, literature on organizational boundaries is at the center of a heated debate, characterized by a shift from a transactional approach to a broader immaterial perspective centered on the concept of boundless organizations. However, the overestimation of the effects of contemporary dematerialization on business processes can lead to the progressive neglect of the existence of corporate borders. In light of this consideration, the present work aims at proposing a new type of criterion for defining organizational boundaries, halfway between the conception of the firm’s total openness and total closure. To this end, the authors envisage the use of a new interpretive logic defined as “relational”, resulting from the specification of the systemic view (and as the sum of the logic underlying the viable systems approach (VSA)). This approach views the definition of boundaries. Therefore, in the large and intricate scenery of the studies dedicated to organizational boundaries, this work contributes to a better understanding of border selection as an interactive and changeable process capable of pushing organizations towards a greater awareness of their strategic dimension. This paper also offers some insights for future research, suggesting that both scholars and professionals investigate, firstly, new frontiers for the identification of organizational boundaries and, secondly, the possible positive repercussions that new organizational redesign modes could determine for a greater competitive success. View Full-Text
Keywords: boundary; boundaries; organization; organizational boundary; organizational boundaries; viable system approach; relational view; relational criterion; systemic-relational perspective; service system boundary; boundaries; organization; organizational boundary; organizational boundaries; viable system approach; relational view; relational criterion; systemic-relational perspective; service system
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Crespo Garrido, M.J.; Grimaldi, M.; Maione, G.; Vesci, M. Inside Out: Organizations as Service Systems Equipped with Relational Boundaries. Systems 2017, 5, 36.

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