The research focus of ICOA is on developing insights into the mechanisms and best practices of organizational architecture. By understanding the dynamics of organizational architecture, we will be able to design better organizational structures, improve change processes, and advance the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations as well as their long-term performance.
Organizational Design has attracted attention both in practice and in academia due to the need for organizational change and adaption to new situations, and development of new technologies. Research and practice have shown a great impact of organization design on performance.
ICOA has enabled novel insights to organizational design theory by taking a holistic approach to organization design, integrating both the micro and the macro view of organizations.
ICOA’s research interests evolve around three distinct but interconnected areas:

  • Structures (the design or layout of organizations)
  • Behavior and collaboration (of individuals and groups within and between organizations)
  • Incentives and regulation (how incentives and regulation shape the organizations in a particular setting)

By integrating these three areas, ICOA achieves an integration of a micro view, e.g. behavior, collaboration and incentives, with a macro-view, e.g. structures and regulation, into a holistic understanding of organizational architecture.
Such integration requires a multidisciplinary approach where we draw from a wide range of theoretical perspectives, including but not limited to organizational theory, economics, psychology and strategy. The aim is to continue on a cross-disciplinary approach that can enhance our understanding and help provide better theories, new insights and improve practice.
Methodology wise, we span from simulation and laboratory studies to field and case studies using both qualitative and quantitative methods, selected based on the problem addressed.
The center's research projects and discussions will pursue a research strategy of triangulation that will support both the micro and macro focus of ICOA:

  • Case analyses: Enable fine-grained characterizations of design – descriptions of what is. By embracing richness, case studies can facilitate detailed descriptions of the complexity and the consequences of different designs.
  • Simulations and laboratory methods: Facilitate studies and insights into the underlying mechanisms of both individual’s choices and organizational consequences of design. It also allows insights into the interdependencies of design elements.
  • Empirical studies: Allow for generalizable and comparable results across cultures and organizational settings.

The research carried out by ICOA is relevant to organizations in both the private and public sector. While there currently within ICOA are particular industry expertise in some sectors, e.g. health and energy, there are also general expertise across a large number of different industries and sectors.
The dissemination of state-of-the art knowledge of Organization Design is high on the agenda. Thus, ICOA wants to facilitate teaching activities within organizational design at the bachelor’s level as well as at master and PhD level. Further, ICOA wants to offer and support Organizational Design modules in particular teaching activities such as the Talent semester, engineering programs and ITKO. Likewise, ICOA wants to be active in both national and international communities related to and interested in Organization Design.
Ongoing Research Projects

Current Research Projects