This paper claims that in its current use the term ‘network’ represents no more than a suggestive image of organizing in an age of spectacular context-crossing electronic transactivity. Compared to the strong social embeddedness of formal organizations and markets and their institutional and legal ties, networks emerge as nearly devoid of institutional anchoring and social implications. And yet, current developments drive the organization of economic activity away from the logic of the efficient utilization of resources that characterized the industrial age towards the making, remaking and rapid mediation of decisions concerning what is to be produced and how it is to be disposed of. Matters of communication and networking across established boundaries tend to assume a primacy over technical, intraorganizational decisions of resource optimization, thereby making context-crossing electronic transactivity a crucial modality of organizing. However, the solidification and the institutional embeddedness of these interaction forms go far beyond the social and legal regulation of electronic transactivity and involve the confrontation with the institutional order associated with markets and organizations. In this process, central aspects of contemporary life like those of stable or full employment, equality, individual sovereignty and others need be renegotiated.
Kallinikos, Jannis, "Networks as Alternative Forms of Organization: Some Critical Remarks" (2003). ECIS 2003 Proceedings. 55.