Article | Strategic Management Journal | June 2012

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

by 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, 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.