The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory

Paperback | March 16, 2005

EditorHaridimos Tsoukas, Christian Knudsen

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This book provides a forum for leading scholars in organization theory to engage in meta-theoretical reflection on the historical development, present state, and future prospects of organization theory as a scientific discipline. The central question explored is the epistemological status oforganization theory as a policy science. This is a meta-theoretical question; the object of analysis and debate in this volume is not a set of organizational phenomena, but organization theory itself. By drawing attention to organization theory as a practical social activity, this handbook reviews and evaluates important epistemological developments in the discipline. More specifically, the focus is on issues related to the nature of knowledge claims put forward in organization theory and thecontroversies surrounding the generation, validation, and utilization of such knowledge.Five sets of questions are raised in the handbook, each one of which is dealt with in a separate section: 1) What does a science of organizations consist of? What counts as valid knowledge in organization theory and why? How do different paradigms view organization theory as a science? 2) How has organization theory developed over time, and what structure has the field taken? What assumptions does knowledge produced in organization theory incorporate, and what forms do its knowledge claims take as they are put forward for public adoption? 3) How have certain well-known controversies in organization theory, such as for example, the structure/agency dilemma, the study of organizational culture, the different modes of explanation, the micro/macro controversy, and the differnet explanations produced by organizational economists andsociologists, been dealt with? 4) How, and in what ways, is knowledge generated in organization theory related to action? What features must organization theory knowledge have in order to be actionable, and of relevance to the world 'out there'? How have ethical concerns been taken into account in organization theory?5) What is the future of organization theory? What direction should the field take? What must change in the way research is conducted and key theoretical terms are conceptualized so that organization theory enhances its capacity to generate valid and relevant knowledge?

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This book provides a forum for leading scholars in organization theory to engage in meta-theoretical reflection on the historical development, present state, and future prospects of organization theory as a scientific discipline. The central question explored is the epistemological status oforganization theory as a policy science. This...

Haridimos Tsoukas is the George D. Mavros Research Professor of Organization and Management at ALBA in Greece, and Professor of Organization Theory and Behaviour at the University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business, UK. Previous positions held include Lecturer at Warwick Business School (1990-5), and Associate Professor at the...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:666 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.46 inPublished:March 16, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199275254

ISBN - 13:9780199275250

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Table of Contents

Haridimos Tsoukas and Christian Knudsen: Introduction: The Need for Meta-theoretical Reflection in Organization TheoryPart I: Organization Theory as Science1. Lex Donaldson: Organizational Theory as a Positive Science2. Mary Jo Hatch and Dvora Yanow: Organization Theory as an Interpretive Science3. Hugh Willmott: Organization Theory as a Critical Science: Forms of analysis and 'new organizational' forms4. Robert Chia: Organization Theory as a Postmodern SciencePart II: The Construction of Organization Theory5. William H. Starbuck: The Origins of Organization Theory6. Yehouda Shenhav: The Historical and Epistemological Foundations of Organization Theory: Fusing sociological theory with engineering discourse7. Silvia Gherardi: Feminist Theory and Organization Theory: A dialogue on new bases8. Barbara Czarniawska: The Styles and the Stylists of Organization Theory9. Christian Knudsen: Pluralism, Scientific Progress, and the Structure of Organization TheoryPart III: Meta-theoretical Controversies in Organization Theory10. Michael Reed: The Agency/Structure Dilemma in Organization Theory: Open doors and brick walls11. Andreas Georg Scherer: Modes of Explanation in Organization Theory12. William McKinley and Mark A. Mone: Micro and Macro Perspectives in Organization Theory: A tale of incommensurability13. Richard Swedberg: Economic Versus Sociological Approaches to Organization Theory14. Joanne Martin: Meta-theoretical Controversies in Studying Organizational CulturePart IV: Organization Theory as a Policy Science15. Chris Argyris: Actionable Knowledge16. Karl E. Weick: Theory and Practice in the Real World17. Richard P. Nielsen: Organization Theory and Ethics: Varieties and dynamics of constrained optimization18. Iain Mangham: Character and Virtue in an Era of Turbulent CapitalismPart V: The Future of Organization Theory19. Gibson Burrell: The Future of Organization Theory: Prospects and limitations20. Stewart Clegg: Managing Organization Futures in a Changing World of Power/Knowledge21. Arie Y. Lewin: The Future of Organization Theory: Beyond the selection-adaptation debate22. Marta B. Calas: At Home from Mars to Somalia: Recounting organization theory23. Haridimos Tsoukas: New Times, Fresh Challenges: Reflections on the past and the future of organization theory

Editorial Reviews

`Any social scientist with an interest in organizations, and it is difficult to imagine a social scientist without this interest, will find something of value in The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory. Most will find quite a lot. The volume is one of the rare handbooks that can be readcover to cover without fear of encountering spells of repetition, filler, or impenetrable jargon. Tsoukas and Knudson did a remarkable job of selecting authors, providing them with clear direction, allowing them the independence to pursue widely disparate ideas to their conclusion, and forging the600 pages into a coherent and timely whole. The Handbook will certainly have a lasting impact not only on organization theory, but on such related disciplines as sociology, political science, and economics. Its publication is an impressive achievement.'Work, employment and society Volume 21 ? Number 2 ? June 2007