City Research Online

A Chemistry of Organization: Combinatory Structural Analysis and Design

Grandori, A. & Furnari, S. (2008). A Chemistry of Organization: Combinatory Structural Analysis and Design. Organization Studies, 29(3), pp. 459-485. doi: 10.1177/0170840607088023


This paper is a response to the call for models of organization design as a science revealing the inner composition of organization and specifying the laws to be respected when crafting it. It maintains that the needed science is a chemistry of organization, addressing the combination of 'organizational elements' playing a role analogous to that of chemical elements in composing a variety of substances. Drawing both on classic organization design theory and on configurational and complementarity-based approaches, the paper specifies a set of basic organizational elements and a set of combinatory laws regulating their effective combinations. Testable propositions are derived on the necessary and sufficient conditions that the composition of organizations should have respect for achieving high levels of efficiency and innovation. These propositions are tested empirically on a sample of firms, using an innovative application of Boolean algebra.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Grandori&Furnari 2008 OST - A Chemistry of Organization.pdf]
Download (654kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login