About

This is the website of the newly founded Center on Organizational Dynamics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Sociology department.

The Center for Organizational Dynamics supports research to understand the social processes that constitute organizations and organizing in an era of contradiction and rapid technological, economic, and cultural change. To this end, the center provides infrastructure for affiliated graduate students and faculty to host speakers, organize conferences and workshops, provide methodological training, support grant writing, and facilitate scholarship on topics related to organizations and organizing.

We understand organizing and organization broadly to encompass various actions and forms—from autopoiesis to central planning and markets to bureaucracies. Organizing takes place under the uncertainty posed by disruptive technologies, economic shifts, and cultural changes. In managing uncertainty, organizations face contradictory strategic imperatives: coordination/control, collaboration/competition, network/hierarchy. Understanding organizing and organization in the contemporary era necessitates a renewed focus on hybridity and social process, in other words, organizational dynamics.

Hailing from multiple disciplines and reflecting a broad array of theoretical and methodological approaches, COD researchers are dedicated to understanding how groups attempt to reconcile contradictory imperatives and manage uncertainty through organizing and organization. Affiliated scholars are undertaking in many exciting projects, including:

  • How activists deploy new technologies to organize and mobilize social movements
  • Cultural shifts among foundations and nonprofit organizations in an age of social enterprise and market-based solutions
  • How policy shifts create contradictory racial and class dynamics in childcare markets
  • How record stores have thrived in the face of rapid technological change
  •  Changing apprenticeship and collaboration networks in the growing markets of microbrewers
  • How buyers and sellers reconcile social and economic values at urban farmers’ markets
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