Article

Beyond Convergence and Divergence: Explaining Variations in Organizational Practices and Forms

Chris Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199299249
Published online September 2009 |

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Beyond Convergence and Divergence: Explaining Variations in Organizational Practices and Forms

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This article outlines different approaches to the analysis of contemporary capitalism and considers what role they allocate to the business organization. Three distinct positions are distinguished. First, there are those who cling to the idea of distinctive national business systems and retain a belief in the organization of work, management, and employment relations characterized by a national system of institutions. Second, there are those who argue for the importance of globalizing trends and the convergence between organizational forms and policies and, by extension, more general features of economic organization. Third, between the extremes, there are arguments that suggest that a small number of patterns, of distinctive varieties of capitalism, can be distinguished. It is proposed that there is merit in all these positions, but none recognizes the complexity of real economies and none are able to explain the extent of change and continuity actually existing.

Keywords: contemporary capitalism; business organization; national business systems; globalizing trends; economic organization

Article.  9472 words. 

Subjects: business and management ; organizational theory and behaviour ; business strategy

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