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PartnershipsMachines of possibility$
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Niels Akerstrom Andersen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420268

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420268.001.0001

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Outsourcing limits

Outsourcing limits

(p.55) Three Outsourcing limits

Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the means by which different systems of communication collide in the development of outsourcing and contracts across the public and private sectors. It differentiates the organisational systems from the function ones. Unlike the function systems, organisational systems do not have their own symbolically generalised media as well as binary codes. Instead, they operate with a horizon of decision premises, which precisely opens up for the diversity of the encodings. Organisations and function systems constitute each other’s environment, but organisational systems are always linked to at least one function system by acquiring the benefits. The development of organisations from homophony to heterophony indicates that an increasing number of organisations no longer hold a primary coupling to a single function system. No predominant relation exists between organisational type and function system, or in terms of organisational theory. The chapter illustrates the way in which communications clash when organisations with couplings to a variety of different function systems have to collaborate. It presents a case concerning the outsourcing to ISS Catering of the provision of meals for older people in the municipality of Lyngby-Taarbæk. Public outsourcing produces a multitude of value clashes across the board of different function systems. At the same time, the very form of outsourcing provides no framework within which the conflicts can play themselves out.

Keywords:   outsourcing, organisation, communication, contract, function, homophony, heterophony

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