Managing Transformations is a program in tune with GRI’s main goal, that is, to produce transdisciplinary research within social sciences. It grew out of the previous one, called Organizing Action Nets. While OAN was grouping researchers that studied different phenomena using the same approach (which assumed that constructing action nets is the primary step in organizing and therefore must be studied), Managing Transformations is a step toward selecting phenomena worth studying; the contemporary "matters of concern", as our STS colleagues call it.
Before I list those phenomena we selected, I need to state that Managing Transformations, while a program in itself, functions also as a kind of umbrella program, as its foci of interest are shared with other programs, past, present and future at the Institute.
Here is our list of phenomena that are either new, or old but acquiring a new shape:
- Globalization. While it has been pointed by globalization scholars that its beginning can be traced back to the times of Marco Polo, todays travel and communication technologies give it a truly new meaning. Related to it is:
- Digitalization. E-governments, e-commerce, e-health and great many others e-phenomena (including robotization) mean both revolutionizing existing organizational activities and introducing new ones. (Some examples of such changes is the spreading idea of open landscapes, even if it is still unclear whether or not it is a sustainable solution. )
- Financialization. In spite of the financial crisis of 2008–2010, the conversion of concrete goods and services into abstracts entities, some of them realized in the not-yet certain future, continues.
- Medialization. While media were always important for the development of societies, its present ubiquity produces both an overflow of information and desperate attempts to limit it, leading to confusion about the truthfulness of the media. Related to it is:
- Growing feeling of threat and ensuing changes in politics. While many sources present the contemporary world safer than ever before, there is no doubt of very concrete threats, which result, among other things, in increasing number of refugees. Related to it is the issue of:
- Diversity. While there is a western template defining diversity, it is less known how this is globally translated and acted upon ¬- in both public and private sectors, and in companies acting on a global arena. This makes the question how are diversity ideas translated into policies, and these policies turned into practices, once again .
Within each of these areas we will study how organizations manage the ongoing and future transformations. For example: What should managers do in the face of the unspecified, but allegedly grand transformation that will result from the recent trends of digitalization? How will be welfare organized and managed in relation to newly medialized landscape? How are innovative diversity measures translated across subsidiaries of multinational organizations?