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Translating models of organization: Can the Mittelstand move from Bavaria to Geelong?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stewart Clegg


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In this paper, we examine the increasing global attention being given to the German organizational form of the Mittelstand over the past decade. We do so, especially, in consideration of the construction of Australian analogues to the Mittelstand. Such translations have been posited as a solution to the current crisis facing Australian manufacturing. Translation out of context always poses problems: can a specifically national form of organization, such as the German Mittelstand, be something that can, potentially, be translated to other nations and industrial contexts? The Australian case offers an empirical setting in which to explore understandings of transnational translation of management innovations. Our findings demonstrate how globally theorized models subject to translation align abstract value orientations with local templates. Our discussion focuses on the translation of a Bavarian model of organization into very different locations, such as Geelong, Australia.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Logue DM, Jarvis WP, Clegg SR, Hermens A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Management & Organization

Year: 2015

Volume: 21

Issue: 1

Pages: 17-36

Online publication date: 16/01/2015

Acceptance date: 01/05/2014

ISSN (print): 1833-3672

ISSN (electronic): 1839-3527

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/jmo.2014.66


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