This paper mainly relies on the principles of incompatibility, or non-equilibrium, existing between the continuous growth in the level of environmental complexity and the insufficient cognitive capacity of the organization to deal with higher levels of uncertainty, to operate in complex task environments, to attend new market demands, to manage new approaches to customers' satisfaction and relationship, and to capture effectively information resources from the environment. It examines characteristics and limitations of past and current manufacturing organizations, and it extends their frontiers by proposing new technological, managerial and organizational capabilities of the new manufacturing organizations in the 21st century. From such an analysis, it introduces the concept of customer-centric systems which represent new organizational production models that pursue high degrees of organizational cognition, intelligence and autonomy, and consequently, high degrees of agility and flexibility, in order to manage high levels of environmental complexity, to operate through intensive mass customization, and to provide customers with immersiveness. From all these backgrounds, this research contributes by proposing the concept of new organizations with structure and processes of computational organization management networks. In such a new organization type, cognitive machines and cognitive information systems are prominent actors of governance, automation and control of the whole enterprize. (C) 2009 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.