Reasons Neglect: Rationality and Organizing

Paperback | September 28, 2008

byBarbara Townley

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Reason, and the need to Be Rational, are essential dimensions of society and the organizations we live and work in. Yet the 'rationalization' of working and administrative processes, or the 'rationality' studied in social sciences, is all too often, used, understood, and interpreted in anextremely narrow sense.Reason's Neglect does three things. Firstly, it argues that rationality is a leitmotif of organization studies, but one that has often been neglected. Secondly, it deploys Foucault's work to recover the neglected dimensions of rationality. In doing this, it allows for a revisionary exploration ofkey subjects in organization studies: organization theory, bureaucracy, technology, culture, practice, etc. Finally, the book presents the case of new rational management techniques being introduced in an organization, allowing individuals to 'speak for themselves', and examining how they respond tothese innovations, and how they make sense of them.Arguing that rationality should be seen as disembedded, embedded, or embodied, each chapter goes on to explore a different aspect of reason, such as economic, bureaucratic, technocratic, institutional, or contextual. Clearly written and structured, yet an engaged and challenging approach to thestudy of organizations in society, Reason's Neglect is an iconoclastic book.

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Reason, and the need to Be Rational, are essential dimensions of society and the organizations we live and work in. Yet the 'rationalization' of working and administrative processes, or the 'rationality' studied in social sciences, is all too often, used, understood, and interpreted in anextremely narrow sense.Reason's Neglect does thr...

Professor Barbara Townley was awarded her PhD from the London School of Economics. She taught at Lancaster, Warwick, and Edinburgh universities in the UK, and at the University of Alberta, Canada, before taking up her present position at the University of St. Andrews. Her work has been published in leading North American and European j...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:September 28, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019929836X

ISBN - 13:9780199298365

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Table of Contents

1. Foucault and RationalityPart I: Disembedded Rationality2. Economic Rationality3. Bureaucratic Rationality4. Technocratic RationalityPart II: Embedded Rationality5. Institutional Rationality6. Contextual Rationality7. Situational RationalityPart III: The 'Other' of Reason8. Embodied RationalityPart IV: Conclusions9. Collective Rationality10. Practical Reason