The Rise of the Fluid Organization?: Organizational Patterns of Mobile Professional Work
In order to cope with today’s turbulent business environment, firms are flexibly mobilizing human resources outside formal organizational boundaries. The practice of outsourcing has become an important strategy for efficient and effective management, particularly in a fluctuating business environment. Furthermore, an increasing number of workers perform their jobs independently and bring their distinct skills and expertise to organizations on an ad-hoc basis. Since business activities are becoming more and more knowledge-intensive, effective utilization of external experts who can bring distinct expertise to the organization is increasingly important. Such fluid patterns of organizing have made formal organizational boundaries more and more blurred. This paper discusses such emerging organizational patterns in mobile professional work through an empirical field study on work practices of mobile professionals. Based on the results of the field study, the paper offers a new perspective of organization, “the fluid organization” and addresses its theoretical and empirical implications.