On one hand, marginals are complex organizational systems. On the other hand, they are an example of elegant, applied organizational operations. In The Marginal Organization, Tafoya focuses on organizations often described as part of an informal economy, informal sector, underground economy, or unofficial economy. He presents these systems first as organizations and then as organizations operating outside of society's mainstream, as marginal organizations. He outlines a means for studying marginals so that underlying behavioral patterns can be identified, examined and, if needed, addressed. A simple approach to a study of marginal organizations might conclude they exist simply to meet the needs of their stakeholders - they do not. Thinking of marginals as competing in the context of other organizations allows the reader the opportunity to explore new themes, such as when and how marginals may be more inventive and innovative that mainstream organizations, and what one might conclude about illegal marginals like drug pushers and prostitutes. Tafoya's newest contribution to the field of organizational study is not to be missed.
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Dennis W. Tafoya is the president of CompCite, Inc.
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