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Fakultät Sozialwissenschaften

Paper published in the Journal of Professions and Organisations

Article Journal of Professions and Organisations

Modern work structures and organizations are often characterized by the simultaneous presence of multiple logics. Research has made great efforts in recent decades to describe a wide range of possible responses to different constellations of multiple logics. However, little research has paid attention to how these responses may affect other organizations and actors in the same environment that must deal with the solutions developed. In particular, if an initial reaction alters the given constellation of logics, other organizations and actors may need to initiate their own reactions (or perhaps even counter-reactions). In this way, series of reactions can develop that are interrelated and become increasingly powerful in their impact, a process similar to the so-called butterfly effect. The butterfly effect is a famous metaphor in chaos theory that states that "a single flap of a butterfly's wings can contribute to the creation of a tornado" (Lorenz 2001: 91). It paraphrases the idea that small changes in initial conditions in complex and nonlinear dynamical systems lead to a series of unpredictable reactions that can build up and end up having a fundamental effect. The rise and fall (in the form of a ban) of fee-for-service physicians in Germany illustrates the effects of the coexistence of different but interrelated logics. To examine the butterfly effect using the example of fee-for-service physicians, we conducted interviews with hospital supervisors and managers, as well as with representatives of unions, labor agencies, and professional associations as experts on the labor market for physicians and the organization of hospitals. In addition, we have examined the development of case law, through a document analysis of the judgement of the Federal Social Court, which we contrast with earlier, sometimes contradictory judgements of the regional courts, as well as with statements from the interviews mentioned above.