Heterarchy: Exploiting Ambiguity and Organizing Diversity
This paper explores the concept of heterarchy as an organizational form that is an alternative to hierarchies and markets. Heterarchies are characterized by lateral accountability and multiple organizing principles, or in different terms, by distributed intelligence and the organization of diversity. Empirical materials are drawn from the contemporary Hungarian economy where firms operate in an environment of institutional uncertainty. An analysis of the ownership structure of the largest 200 firms and the top 25 banks identifies distinctive network properties created by ties of inter-organizational ownership. Heterarchy contributes to flexibility; but the interweaving of multiple logics of justification poses new problems of accountability.
JEL Classification: D23; P26.
Keywords: Heterarchy transitional economy private property