Hyper-Organization: Global Organizational Expansion

Paperback | December 12, 2015

byPatricia Bromley, John W. Meyer

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Hyper-Organization offers an institutional explanation for the expansion of formal organization in the contemporary era - in numbers, internal complexity, social domains, and national contexts. Much expansion is hard to justify in terms of technical production or political power, it lies inareas such as protecting the environment, promoting marginalized groups, or behaving with transparency. The authors argue that expansion is supported by widespread cultural rationalization characterized by scientism, rights and empowerment discourses, and an explosion of education. These cultural changes are transmitted through legal, accounting, and professionalization principles, driving thecreation of new organizations and the elaboration of existing ones. The resulting organizations are constructed to be proper social actors, as much as functionally effective entities. They are painted as autonomous and integrated but depend heavily on external definitions to sustain this depiction.So expansion creates organizations that are, whatever their actual effectiveness, structurally arational. This book advances theories of social organization in three main ways. First, by giving an account of the expansive rise of "organization" rooted in rapid worldwide cultural rationalization. Second, explaining the construction of contemporary organizations as purposive actors, rather than passivebureaucracies or loose associations. Third, showing how the expanded actorhood of the contemporary organization, and the associated interpenetration with the environment, dialectically generate structures far removed from instrumental rationality.

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Hyper-Organization offers an institutional explanation for the expansion of formal organization in the contemporary era - in numbers, internal complexity, social domains, and national contexts. Much expansion is hard to justify in terms of technical production or political power, it lies inareas such as protecting the environment, prom...

Patricia Bromley is an Assistant Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her work focuses on the rise and globalization of a culture emphasizing rational, scientific thinking and expansive forms of rights. She draws mainly on two settings - education systems and organizations - to show how the institutionalization of these new c...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.53 inPublished:December 12, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199689865

ISBN - 13:9780199689866

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Table of Contents

1. Organization and Hyper-Organization2. Worldwide Expansion3. Cultural Foundations: Science, Empowerment, Education4. Cultural Catalysts: Law, Accounting, Professionalism5. Individuals and their Organizations as Actors6. Dialectics: The Inconsistencies and Arationalities of Organizational Actorhood7. Conclusions