The starting point of this thesis is the fact that there are a growing number of organizations, which describe themselves as associations or interest organizations. One such organization is the Danish Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (DVCA). It is an organization, which has other organizations as members. This is the theoretical point of departure for the thesis, because it seems like this type of organization has not received much attention from organizational researchers. To provide a thorough analysis of the interest organization, which has organizational members, the thesis uses the findings of Göran Ahrne and Nils Brunsson (2008) regarding meta‐organizations, and combines this with Niklas Luhmann’s concept of organizations as autopoietic systems. Therefore, the purpose of the thesis is to analyze the interest organization, as an organization made up of decisions communications, which has members, that are also organizations made up of decisions communications. Looking at DVCA, its decisions, its self‐description and the representation made possible by the self‐description does this. The thesis consists of three analyses. The first analysis is a discussion of how we can look at the metaorganization with other organizations as members from an autopoietic perspective. In the analysis we find that autopoietic organization systems can have other organizations as members, by deciding on their membership. By doing this, the meta‐organization creates an internal construct of the member, and therefore it changes its self‐understanding and self‐description. The second analysis looks at DVCA’s membership conditions and self‐descriptions. By looking at a concrete decision to change DVCA’s membership conditions we construct two periods in the lifespan of the association. By doing this we find that the decision to change the membership conditions recursively produces changes in DVCA’s selfdescriptions. In the third analysis we look at DVCA’s possibility for representation given the changes in membership conditions and the enrolment of new types of organizations as members in DVCA. We find that having different kinds of organizations as members results in a paradox. DVCA handles the paradox by ignoring it and by creating self‐descriptions that orients the members towards DVCA and its unity. There is openness or contingency in DVCA’s description of the members, because all organizations are unique as a result of their autopoiesis. We also find that DVCA cannot dictate the decisions of the member organizations, because they are autopoietic systems. Lastly, DVCA cannot know if it fulfils its purpose, to represent the members, because it cannot see if the members feel represented. Finally we sum up the general theoretical implications of the thesis. The interest organization with other organizations as members creates new communicative connection points by changing its membership conditions. The interest organization changes its understanding of itself and its surroundings and thereby its self‐descriptions, when it decides to enrol new types of organizations. There is an openness or contingency in the interest organization’s self‐descriptions and this allow member organizations to connect to it and use it as a premise for their own decisions. The interest organization cannot dictate the decisions of the member organizations, because they are autopoietic systems. And the interest organization cannot know if it fulfils its purpose, to represent the members, because it cannot see if the members actually feel represented.
|MSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
|Number of pages