Revisiting Openness: A must for Society

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Anne-Laure Mention
João José Pinto Ferreira
Marko Torkkeli

Abstract

Academic literature increasingly stresses the predominance of openness in contemporary organizations - porous boundaries, virtual and agile teams, temporary hierarchies, interconnectedness of networks and ecosystems. Managerial literature also abundantly depicts the benefits of openness. In contrast to what is being observed and reported at organization level, Western Societies and some of their elected leaders currently advocate closeness: protecting borders, erecting walls and barriers, either physical, administrative or legal. This paradox raises concerns: how can individuals and firms be and remain open, while nations isolate and seclude? How can we build an inclusive society while rejecting differences? How can we achieve innovation when turning our backs to variety and diversity?

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