20. Globalization, Modernization, and Complex Organizations

  1. D. Douglas Caulkins1 and
  2. Ann T. Jordan2
  1. Ann T. Jordan

Published Online: 2 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch20

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

How to Cite

Jordan, A. T. (2012) Globalization, Modernization, and Complex Organizations, in A Companion to Organizational Anthropology (eds D. D. Caulkins and A. T. Jordan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch20

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, USA

  2. 2

    University of North Texas, USA

Author Information

  1. University of North Texas, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 29 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199827

Online ISBN: 9781118325513



  • complex organizations;
  • globalization;
  • modernization;
  • nation-state;
  • organizational anthropology;
  • organizational change


The chapter begins with a brief discussion of organizational anthropological literature in order to show recent trends and explain that globalization, while not the focus of most recent research, is a recurrent theme woven through the work and is thus an important consideration when studying organizations today. This is followed by a partial review of the anthropological literature on modernization and globalization in order to provide definitions for these two constructs and to situate this chapter's discussion in our anthropological discourse on globalization and modernization. Next, the two main arguments (the first about the role of complex organizations in globalization and the second about the importance of the nation-state in organizational change) are presented, and these are then followed by a case study from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) which exemplifies the points made.