A Tale of Three Cities: Or the Glocalization of City Management

Paperback | December 12, 2002

byBarbara Czarniawska

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Cities are complex, sprawling, diverse places. They are organized, but disorganized; managed, but unmanaged; orderly, but disorderly. Modern metropolitan cities reproduce themselves and we are familiar with the common icons that are replicated in every part of the globe, but how should weunderstand cities?For the past five years, Professor Czarniawska has been leading a research project on globalization and the management of cities. Rather than seeing the city as a conurbation, or a location of economic activity, or in terms of governance and administration, Czarniawska explores the city as an actionnet. An action net of this sort includes various organizations-municipal, state, private, and voluntary-and non-organized individuals. Such an approach was designed to avoid the fallacy of viewing the big city as one big organization. The city is thus conceived as a particularly complex anddisorderly action net; a seamless web of interorganizational networks, where the city administration proper constitutes just one point of entry and by no means provides a map of the entire terrain. The research focuses on three European capitals: Warsaw, Stockholm, and Rome. At the outset, leading politicians and officials in each city listed the major problems and projects that the city was engaged in, for example environmental reforms, improvement of public utilities, privatization,financial targets, etc. The author selected a number of these for more detailed study, reporting upon interesting similarities and differences between the approaches taken. The book aims to explore organizing processes in their local context while following the connections between such contexts.

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Cities are complex, sprawling, diverse places. They are organized, but disorganized; managed, but unmanaged; orderly, but disorderly. Modern metropolitan cities reproduce themselves and we are familiar with the common icons that are replicated in every part of the globe, but how should weunderstand cities?For the past five years, Profe...

Barbara Czarniawska is Skandia Professor of Management Studies at the Gothenburg Research Institute, Goteborg University, and is widely regarded as one of the leading Europeans in the field of organization studies. Previous positions include Chair of Management in the Department of Business Administration, Lund University, and Associa...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.5 inPublished:December 12, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199252718

ISBN - 13:9780199252718

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Table of Contents

1. Studying Management in a Glocalized City2. 'The European Capital': The Work of Representation in Identity and Alterity Construction3. Traffic and Transport, or the Difficulties of Reframing4. Europeanization: Coercion or Mimesis?5. The Invention of Tradition and Social Memory6. City Management in its Cultural Context7. The Fashionable City

Editorial Reviews

`Most theory and research on organizations is qualitative and interpretive, and case studies remain the dominant working style in the field. But canons of argumentation and presentation celebrate more quantitative styles - formal, causal, and scientific in the conventional sense. BarbaraCzarniawska is a leader in the contemporary movement to bring the research and writing canons in close correspondence with how most work really goes on. Her vision is of the narrative rather than the causal model, and of the narrative containing multiple perspectives at that. Her book will be usedand valued by all those who want to study and teach about organizations in a broader, more qualitative, and more interpretive and postmodern vein.'John W. Meyer, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University