Rethinking tomorrow’s organisation

From the dot com crash and global financial crises to the COVID19 pandemic and looming climatic catastrophe, the notion of the Organisation in the 21st century and process of organising requires a rethink. This research center focuses on Rethinking Tomorrow’s Organisation (RTO) including drives towards responsible management and corporate social responsibility, the changing landscape of interfirm collaboration and relationships and the need to adapt to an increasingly uncertain and unpredictable world.
Dr. Dermot Breslin – Full Professor of Organisational Behavior, Management & Organisations, Rennes School of Business – Research Center Director

A new era of global uncertainty calls into question our view of the Organisation as a cohesive social entity with clearly defined boundaries and stakeholders, pursuing long-term goals and strategies within a predictable business environment.

Adapting to the disruptive changes of the future requires a new order of global Organisation with a complexity of competing stakeholders, and Unframed Thinking underpins our philosophy as we pursue bold, innovative and impactful research in this changing intellectual landscape.

This research center includes three interrelated themes of the Responsible Organisation, the Interconnected Organisation and the Adaptive Organisation.

Research Groups

The Responsible Organisation

How does the Organisation of tomorrow manage competing and often conflicting interests from multiple internal and external stakeholders in ways that are inclusive and responsible? The future world we face challenges past hegemonies within Organisations and unitary views of Organisational responsibility, calling for a more pluralist inclusive view of the Organisation. Tomorrow’s Organisation must therefore manage the competing needs of multiple stakeholders in the pursuit of a broader range of sustainable goals. Research in this theme includes interdisciplinary research on ethics, sustainability, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, diversity, responsible management, and the meaning of work. With problems ranging from climate change to mass migration, it is important for all Organisations to finds ways of behaving responsibly for the world of tomorrow.

The Interconnected Organisation

How does the Organisation of tomorrow deal with an increasingly complex and ill-defined landscape of interfirm collaboration and relationships? The boundaries of tomorrow’s Organisation are becoming blurred, reaching across firms, industries and national boundaries, with firms entering into ever changing forms of competitive and cooperative relationships with other Organisations and institutions. Alongside this, new ways of working and organising are breaking down traditional Organisational structures and hierarchies. This theme includes a range of topics linked to Organisational networks and interfirm relations, including ecosystems, strategic alliances and forms of Organisational cooperation and collaboration, and explores how tomorrow’s Organisation deals with such a changing landscape of interfirm relationships.

The Adaptive Organisation

How can tomorrow’s Organisation be more adaptive as they manage disruptive and unexpected change? Organisations today find themselves in an era of unprecedented change and disruption, and this theme researches a wide range of phenomena including creativity, improvisation, entrepreneurship, innovation, Organisational resilience, adaptability and ambidexterity. From climate change to geopolitical crises, tomorrow’s Organisation needs to anticipate and adapt to an uncertain and complex future business landscape, forcing a rethink on how Organisations can respond to the unexpected. These disruptions have changed the world within which firms operate, rewriting the rules of operation, management and organising itself. Going forward, this degree of uncertainty is set to continue the need for Organisations to be adaptive, flexible, collaborative and responsible.

Current work

Research Leadership

  • RTO publishes high-impact research in a wide range of international peer-reviewed journals such as; Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Human Relations, Organisation Studies, Marketing Science, Human Resource Management Journal, R&D Management, Industrial Marketing Management, Small Business Economics, European Management Review, British Journal of Management, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Organisation, Journal of Business Ethics and the Journal of Business Research.
  • The professors in this research center hold editorial positions in a number of prestigious academic journals including; International Journal of Management Reviews, Journal of Management Studies, Canadian Journal of Administrative Science, Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research and the Internal Small Business Journal. Centre members have extensive experience in organising conferences and workshops with Administrative Science Association of Canada, European Academy of Management, Institute for Small Business and Enterprise, International Society for Professional Innovation Management and International Conference on Information Systems.

 

Corporate and Societal Impact

  • The research center has engaged in numerous impact projects with local, national and international Organisations including B<>com, Stade Rennais Football Club, Cook & Go, Agence Deuce (Open de Rennes), Agence Abicyclette, Station B Start-up Incubator, Eureden, INNOVUS Costa Rica, and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (UK).
  • The center’s research has also been disseminated to the wider public through events, open talks and regular publications in external press outlets such as Le Monde, Times Higher Education, Fire & Rescue Management, Inc. Magazine, Le Magazine, Ouest France, La Tribune, Financial Times, Belo Horizonte and ibération.

 

Research-Led Teaching

  • RTO’s mission is to rethink the Organisation of tomorrow through impactful research and research-led teaching, and a range of courses have been developed for executive education on topics of Managing International Complexity, Business Textual Learning, Business Network Intelligence, and Group Creativity.

Sample Publications

  • Al-Gamrh, B., Ismail, K., and Al-Dhamari, R. (2018). The role of corporate governance strength in crisis and non-crisis times. Applied Economics, Vol. 50, No. 58, pp. 6263–6284
  • Longondjo Etambakonga, C., and Roloff, J. (2020). Protecting environment or people? Pitfalls and merits of informal labor in the Congolese recycling industry. Journal of Business Ethics, Volume 161, No 4, pp. 815–834
  • Mcnamara, T., Meloso, D., Michelotti, M., and Puncheva-Michelotti, P. (2021). You are free to choose…are you? Organisational punishment as a productivity incentive in the social science literature. Human Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/00187267211007891
  • Scaringella, L., and Radziwon, A. (2018) Innovation, entrepreneurial, knowledge, and business ecosystems: Old wine in new bottles? Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Vol. 136, pp. 59–87
  • Schneckenberg, D., Velamuri, V., Comberg, C. (2019) The design logic of new business models: unveiling cognitive foundations of managerial reasoning. European Management Review, Vol. 16, pp. 427-447, 2019

Contact

Dr. Dermot Breslin – Full Professor of Organisational Behavior, Management & Organisations, Rennes School of Business – Research Center Director