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Annex 4: Network Action Strategy in a Transnational Setting (30)


The Nature of Organization in Transnational Networks (Part #13)


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The problem for transnational organizations is to develop a way of increasing the dynamism and strength of the network without retreating to the unsuccessful formula of the coordinating umbrella body -- which is probably following the dinosaurs into. social history.

Peter Rudge [31] has summarised the characteristics of the Systemic style of closed-system management. We can attempt to translate and modify these for the open-system inter-organizational setting. The Network style may therefore be characterised by:

  • (a) emphasis on the contribution of special knowledge, competence, and experience by any appropriate transnational organization to the common task of any ad hoc group of transnational organizations set up for a specific task
  • (b) the "realistic" nature of the program of any transnational organization which is seen as set by its perception of the most significant problems for which it is competent, in terms of the information which it has managed to receive
  • (c) the adjustment and continual redefinition by each transnational organization of its programs through interaction with and in response to others: the network is conceived as constantly changing and evolving, sub-networks of transnational organizations with a special interest in common come into existence for any required period; transnational organizations may each be participating in any number of such partial networks; partial networks are deliberately terminated when no longer useful
  • (d) the shedding of "responsibility" as a limited field of rights, obligations, and methods (e.g. world problems may not be systematically ignored as being some other organization's sole responsibility)
  • (e) the spread of commitment of a transnational organization to society as a whole beyond any technical definition of programs or legal definitions of constitution or statutes
  • (f) a network structure of control, authority, and communication; the sanctions which apply to the individual transnational association's conduct in its working relations derive more from presumed community of interest with the rest of the network in the survival and evolution of the open society, and less from any temporary contractual relationship between the Organization and. some body recognised as coordinator for the program in question