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Special Collection: New Trends in Organization Design

Call for Papers (Deadline: 30 April 2019)

The Journal of Organization Design welcomes submissions to a new article collection focused on 'New Trends in Organization Design.' 


In private as well as public organizations, we have been seeing changing organizational forms, a growing amount of importance placed on ecosystems for competitive advancement, the emergence of platform organizations, an increase in hybrid organizations, and many different experiments with flat organizations (absent hierarchy). The field of organization design is undergoing a renaissance. This JOD Special Issue is devoted to exploring new trends in organization design, including new themes and methods within the field.  

Aims and scope

How do we design organizations for the future? This is one of the “hot” topics preoccupying both researchers and practitioners (Puranam, et al., 2014; Van de Ven, Ganco & Hinings, 2013). Increasingly competitive and multifaceted business landscapes, commonly referred to as VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environments (Bennett & Lemoine, 2014), require organizations to be adaptive—implementing strategies rapidly and effectively in response to opportunities and challenges in global and local markets (Fjelstad, Snow Miles & Lettl, 2012). Further, how do we design organizations for the future where people want to work? “The way we organize to get things done and to create value is not fixed; it is shaped by available technologies, social norms, and regulatory systems of the times. Connective technologies, sensors, and vast amounts of data are rapidly changing how we do this and what is possible. They are reshaping patterns of work and organizational structures we’ve built up in the last century,” (Marina Gorbis, executive director of Institute for the Future, 2018).

“Design and experimentation are moving ahead as natural experiments that explore a portion of the “what might be” space. We are observing closely for insights and understanding. We need to go further to expand the design space and investigate the underlying mechanisms of structure and coordination through experimentation utilizing lab studies, simulations, field studies, and ethnographies, among other approaches”, Burton and Obel (2018). Romme (2003: 558) stated that the “idea of a design involves inquiry into systems that do not yet exist—either complete new systems or new states of existing systems.” Experimentation is at the heart of the science of organizational design.

Paper call

We seek papers, which address new trends and emerging themes in the field of organization design. These may include, but are not limited to:
* new organizational designs,
* organizational agility and adaptation,,
* the importance of digitalization,
* artificial intelligence and machine learning for * organization design,
* multi-organizational collaboration, and
* different concepts of organizational performance. 

The Journal of Organization Design publishes various article types, including research papers, research primers, translational, case studies, organization zoo, commentaries, and points of view, all of which can be submitted to this special collection. Please refer to the journal home page for Submission Guidelines pertaining to each article type, as well as examples of published work. 


Once you have chosen your article type, submit your paper via Editorial Manager at

To ensure your paper is considered for this Collection, please answer "yes" when asked whether you are planning to submit to a thematic series, and select "New Trends in Organization Design" from the drop-down menu. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of this Collection.

All submissions will undergo rigorous double-blind peer review and accepted articles will be published.

The deadline for submissions is 30 April 2019

For questions regarding the content of this collection, please contact the guest editors.

Guest Editors

Lead Guest Editor Børge Obel is Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture, Denmark. He is also a professor in the Department of Management, Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University, Denmark, and at EIASM, Brussels. He holds a PhD and a Dr. Oecon. from Aarhus U. His research interests fall within strategy, management, and organizational design. He teaches graduate courses in organizational design. 

Guest Editor Richard M. Burton is Professor Emeritus of Organization and Strategy at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, USA. He holds a DBA, MBA, and BS from the University of Illinois, USA, and an Honorary Doctorate from Aarhus. He has written numerous articles and books with colleagues worldwide. His research focuses on organizational design—how to fashion a complex organization for goal attainment. 

Guest Editor Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson is professor at Department of Management, Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus U.; professor at Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus; and and affiliated with the Interacting Minds Center at Aarhus. She holds a PhD from University of Southern Denmark. Her research interests fall within behavioral organization design. She teaches graduate and executive courses in organizational design, and bachelor courses in organizational behavior. 

Guest Editor Erik R. Larsen is Professor of Management at Aarhus U. He has a Master in Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and a PhD in Economics from Copenhagen Business School. He previously held appointments at University of Lugano, Cass Business School, University of Bologna and London Business School. He has published widely in the areas of organizational theory, operations, and energy deregulation. 

Journal of Organization Design Editors-in-Chief
John Joseph, University of California, Irvine, USA
Metin Sengul, Boston College, USA

Download the Call for Papers here.


  1. Bennett N and Lemoine JG. 2014. What VUCA Really Means for You. Harvard Business Review.Accessed April 1 2018:
  2. Burton RM and Obel B. 2018. The science of organizational design: fit between structure and coordination. Journal of Organization Design 7(1): 5.
  3. Fjeldstad ØD, Snow CC, Miles RE, and Lettl C. 2012. The architecture of collaboration. Strategic Management Journal 33(6): 734-750.
  4. Puranam P, Alexy O, and Reitzig M. 2014. What's 'New' about New Forms of Organizing? Academy of Management Review 39(2):162-180.
  5. Romme, AGL. 2003. Making a difference: Organization as design. Organization Science 14(5): 558-573.
  6. Van de Ven AH, Ganco M, and Hinings CR. 2013. Returning to the Frontier of Contingency Theory of Organizational and Institutional Designs. The Academy of Management Annals 7(1): 393-440