Organizational Geography: An Outline


  1. The Development of the Fields of Corporate Geography, Geography of Enterprise, Spatial Organization Theory, Institutional Geography and related approaches. [Resources]

  2. Historical Antecedents of the Modern Organization: Geography Perspectives of of the Hanseatic League, the Medici Banking Empire, the Catholic Church, the Fugger Family, East India Company, Hudson Bay Corporation, all the way to Japan's Zaibatsu and Keiretsu and Korea's Chaebol. etc.

  3. The Growth & Roles of the Modern Organization/Corporation in Space
    1. Small Business and Entrepreurship
    2. The Multi-Locational Organization
      • Services
      • Utilities
      • Nonprofits & NGOs
      • Industrial corporations
    3. Nonprofit Organizations
    4. The organizational role as "gatekeeper" to the local economy

  4. Attempts to Explain: Development of Organization Theory
    1. Max Weber and Organization Theory
    2. Alfred Weber the Germanic Bias in the Development of Spatial Organization Theory
    3. Organization Theories following Max Weber
    4. Space & Organization: The Nature of some Geographic Insights

  5. The Nature of Multi-Locational Organizations
    1. Organizational boundaries and boundary-spanning activities
    2. Centralized and decentralized forms of corporate governance
    3. Ethnocentric, polycentric and geocentric corporations (Perlmutter)
    4. Local, national, international, multinational and global corporations
    5. Forms of Interaction (Communication) in the Multi-Locational Organization

  6. "Location" in the Large, Multi-Locational Organization:
    1. Classical location theory
    2. Location decision theory
    3. Nature or organizational environments and uncertainty
    4. Search & information behaviors
    5. Decision-making processes
    6. Location of organizational headquarters
    7. Location of warehouses and distribution centers
    8. Location of R & D facilities

  7. Transport-Oriented Organizations
  8. Ports
  9. Local Transit Organizations
  10. Taxis, car-sharing etc.
  11. Airlines
  12. Amtrak
  13. etc.etc.
  14. Organizations involving Localized Resources:
    1. Mining Companies
    2. Power (Generation) Companies
    3. etc.

  15. Organizational Strategies in Space
    1. Internal (Intra-organizational) versus external strategies
    2. Intra- versus inter-regional strategies
    3. Specialization versus diversification strategies (emphasis on core competencies, etc.)
    4. Selective closure and other flexibility strategies ("swing plants" etc.)
    5. Information- and communications strategies
    6. Learning, research + knowledge creation in organizations
    7. Networks, Alliances and Joint Ventures
    8. Mergers & Acquisitions
    9. Foreign investment strategies
    10. Information disclosure strategies (incl. "geographic segmentation" of information)
    11. Technology, product cycles and innovation oriented strategies

  16. Corporate Linkages in Space:
    1. Ownership and financial linkages
    2. Communications, control and interlocking directorates
    3. Internal labor markets and personnel migration patterns
    4. Intra-corporate material and service flow patterns, including
      • International but intra-corporate trade
    5. Inter-corporate flow linkages and subcontracting patterns
    6. Focus on local linkage patterns

  17. Organizational Space and Spatial Organization of Society
    1. City systems in advanced economies (New York & Boise)
    2. Office and headquarter location patterns
    3. Location patterns of R & D activities
    4. Spatial structure of corporations within metropolitan areas
    5. Geographic mobility, occupational mobility and individual career patterns in the organizational world

  18. Organizations and Regions
    1. Organizations and regional development
    2. The problem of "external control"
    3. "Company towns" and other forms of corporate regional dominance
    4. Establishment closures and layoffs
    5. The issue of "truncation"
    6. Organizations and Governments: Conflicts and cooperation between territorially organized governments and multi-jurisdictional organization
    7. Corporate social responsibilities
      • Labor practices: Wage structure, temporary work, benefits, layoff policies, etc.
      • Telecommuting, flexitime, day-care etc.
      • Community oriented activities: Parks, education etc.
    8. Corporate Philanthropy
    9. Corporate environmental policies
    10. Multinational firms and Third-World countries: Issues and codes of conduct

      Return to Econ & Bus Geog
      2001 []