Loosely Coupled Systems: A Reconceptualization

J. Douglas Orton, Karl E. Weick

J. Douglas Orton, Karl E. Weick, Loosely Coupled Systems: A Reconceptualization, Academy of Management Review, 15(2):203-223, April 1990.

Diverse applications of the concept of loose coupling are embodied in five recurring voices that focus separately on causation, typology, effects, compensations, and outcomes. Each has a tendency to drift away from a dialectical interpretation of loose coupling toward a unidimensional interpretation of loose coupling, thereby weakening the explanatory value of the concept. The authors first use the five voices to review the loose coupling literature and then to suggest more precise and more productive uses of the concept.


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