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The dynamics of a variably coupled social system : the case of les compagnons du devoir.

Kleymann, B. and Malloch, H. and Redman, T. and Angot, J. (2008) 'The dynamics of a variably coupled social system : the case of les compagnons du devoir.', Journal of management inquiry., 17 (4). pp. 381-396.


This article aims to expand the use of the coupling metaphor in organizational analysis by introducing a conceptual link between coupling and systems closure. The authors present a case study of Les Compagnons du Devoir (CdD), an ancient French Compagnonnage, or workers' brotherhood. This organization has managed to survive for at least 700 years; it is believed to be the oldest extant form of labor organization. The authors analyze the CdD as a highly institutionalized system displaying variable couplings and facing significant changes in its sociocultural environment. These features have been highlighted by recent attempts to internationalize the CdD. The authors distinguish between induced change and change by erosion and discuss how, given certain coupling configurations, an organization has persisted in an almost unchanged state while the world around it evolves.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Coupling, Internationalization, Institutional change, Les Compagnons du Devoir, Social systems.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:Kleymann, B., Malloch, H., Redman, T. & Angot, J. (2008). The dynamics of a variably coupled social system: The case of les compagnons du devoir. Journal of Management Inquiry 17(4): 381-396. Copyright © 2008 Sage Publications. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Record Created:28 Jan 2009
Last Modified:06 Mar 2018 14:25

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