Post-merger "network" integration: the case of Fiat and Chrysler

Scientific Coordinator: Francesco Zirpoli

The theoretical language and concepts we use to analyze this grand organizational experiment involving Fiat and Chrysler rely on a contextually updated variant of the Carnegie’s school’s “behaviorally plausible” approach to the study of organization according to which: firms are “socio-political entities” subject to cognitive and economic constraints; people and groups of people in complex modern organizations are guided by “rules of thumb” and “standard operating procedures”; organizations are rife with conflict over resources between highly interdependent people and groups of people. We then propose a model for understanding the merger of production networks that hinges on three refinements to existing theory: (1) the institutionalization of most routines requires some more or less implicit agreement between members of an organization to economize on conflict (truce); (2) the managers and engineers who concretely tasked with turning two production networks into one are, in contemporary sociological parlance, multiple embedded; (3) political contestation in organizations runs beyond bargaining and negotiation. 

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