Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to question extant categorizations of organization and to introduce the concept of the hypermodern organization. In so doing, it aims to contribute to the understanding of the hypermodern organization by means of a case study of the accelerated appearance and disappearance of Enron. Design/methodology/approach – Consideration is given in the paper to organization and its various forms, namely, the premodern, the modern and the postmodern organization. The hypermodern organization is then introduced and elaborated upon. To demonstrate the contemporary relevance of the hypermodern organization the increasing speed of both the appearance and disappearance of Enron is reviewed. The contribution of an increase in velocity to the disintegration of the hypermodern organization of Enron is considered. Findings – Existing approaches to organizations and organizational change in the main fail to recognize the context and impact of hypermodernity. To address this, the paper introduces and develops the concept of the hypermodern organization. The relevance of the hypermodern organization to an appreciation of organization and organizational change is demonstrated through an analysis of the accelerated appearance and disappearance of Enron. Research limitations/implications – The paper introduces a new conception of organization and organizational change. Further research is necessary to verify and build on the findings. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the understanding of organizations and organizational change. It argues that the information and consumer‐driven societies of the advanced countries are characterized by hypermodernity. Existing approaches to organizations and organizational change essentially disregard the significance and impact of the hypermodern organization. The paper suggests that one of the results of the hypermodern organization is the accelerated appearance and disappearance of business organizations.
Journal of Organizational Change Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2006
Keywords: Organizations; Organizational change; Case studies