City Research Online

Organizing long duration interdependence in Lloyd’s of London: persistence in a part-whole paradox of organizing

Kilminster, W. ORCID: 0009-0002-2134-6011, Jarzabkowski, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8674-6628 & Giudici, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6033-1643 (2024). Organizing long duration interdependence in Lloyd’s of London: persistence in a part-whole paradox of organizing. Business History, pp. 1-35. doi: 10.1080/00076791.2023.2289580


A critical challenge for interorganizational groups is to organize themselves in a way that balances the interests of the group as a whole and those of individual participants. How interorganizational groups manage these ‘paradoxes of organizing’ to ensure long-term survival remains, however, unclear. We investigate this phenomenon through a historical case study of Lloyd’s of London, arguably the most prominent and long-standing interorganizational group in the global insurance industry. Our historical analysis shows that the interdependence between the group as a whole and its participants deepened progressively over more than two centuries as collective organizing solutions were adopted and were managed by a central collective actor. We develop a process model of dynamic management of part-whole interdependence which explains how the cumulative development of an infrastructure of interdependence, incorporating increasing responsibilities of the central actor, enables management of the paradox of organizing throughout its persistent historical manifestations and inherent tensions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publisher Keywords: paradox, organizing, historic organization studies, long duration, persistence
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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