Organization Zoo articles examine unusual forms of organizing which have recently appeared, or which would be considered as outliers compared to traditional organizations, in order to learn more about what in particular they can do as well as their drawbacks.
The organization zoo already has many animals, but sometimes a new or unusual animal appears. We want to describe this new animal and how it behaves, and we want to analyze rare animals to make certain that we fully understand them. One may ask, What can we learn from outliers? While statisticians rightly warn us against their non-representativeness, we believe it is also true that thinking carefully about what makes them atypical may improve our understanding of the typical case. This is the premise behind the Organization Zoo series.
Each edition of Organization Zoo is built on a brief write-up of an unusual form of organizing. First, the case is presented, and then several commentators offer their thoughts and opinions about the organization.
Zoo cases are different from regular cases. The objective of the Organization Zoo series is to curate new or unusual forms of organizing. This means that the company you describe should be unusual, i.e. represent an unusual way of organizing that has not been seen before. Specifically, the novelty should lie in how they organize (i.e. their organization design), not necessarily in their business model or product/service offering.
You should write a brief account, or mini-case +/- 10,000 words long. This description should introduce readers to the most essential and unusual elements of the company. Primary data is preferred, but if the case is based on secondary data, it is the authors’ responsibility to verify facts from public sources to the extent possible.
When you write the account, think about what it is about the company that can inspire industry leaders as well as organization theorists. Think about providing enough description for the readers to derive what they can learn about design from this way of organizing.
We do not restrict zoo cases to corporations. Unusual forms may be observed among NGOs, governments, non-profits, and other organizational forms.
Organization Zoo articles, like their subjects, are unusual. This is an invitation-only article type that should be worked out behind the scenes before you officially submit. Follow the steps below.
1 Make your case by proposing a topic to Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson and/or Phanish Puranam, Associate Editors who focus on the Zoo series. In preparing your proposal, keep in mind the following:
- We are not looking for traditional cases, only brief accounts or mini-cases.
- The unusualness of the company should be relevant to organization design.
- The mini-case should be descriptive, not evaluative. Expert commentators will write short commentaries on what your company means for organizational theorists and practitioners.
- The case should conclude with a paragraph about what makes the case unusual or interesting.
2 If your case is accepted….
The editors will work with you to compile commentaries from numerous people. Once all commentaries are received, all elements of the article (case and commentaries) must be combined into one manuscript with a single corresponding author (usually the author of the Zoo case).
3 Submit your paper
This journal requires all submissions to be blinded before peer review. Please submit your Zoo manuscript with all authors' names removed.
If the editors decide to accept the Zoo following blinded peer review, you will receive a decision letter asking you to add the authors' names below the headings of their respective sections prior to final acceptance.