Article | Strategic Management Journal | June 2012

Meta-Organizational Design: Rethinking Design in Inter-Organizational and Community Contexts

by Ranjay Gulati, Ranjay Gulati, Phanish Puranam and Michael Tushman


This paper provides conceptual foundations for analyzing organizations comprising multiple legally autonomous entities, which we call meta-organizations. We assess the antecedents of the emergence of such collectives and the design choices they entail. The paper identifies key parameters on which such meta-organizations' designs differ from each other. It also presents a taxonomy that elucidates how such forms of collective action vary and the constraints they must address to be successful. We conclude with implications for research on meta-organizational design.

Keywords: Design; Organizations; Civil Society or Community; Relationships;


Gulati, Ranjay, Ranjay Gulati, Phanish Puranam, and Michael Tushman. "Meta-Organizational Design: Rethinking Design in Inter-Organizational and Community Contexts." Special Issue on Strategy and the Design of Organizational Architecture edited by R. Gulati, P. Puranam, M. Tushman. Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 6 (June 2012): 571–586.