Writing Management: Organization Theory as a Literary Genre

Paperback | October 7, 1999

byBarbara Czarniawska

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Barbara Czarniawska is one of the most original of contemporary writers on organizations. Sceptical of scientific claims and explanations of the social world, she advocates an approach that draws on narrative, literary theory, cultural studies, and anthropology, rather than positivist socialscience, arguing that 'the social sciences are a system of institutionalized reflection, whereas business and public organizations represent institutionalized action'. Recognizing the spread and influence of management studies and management writing, Czarniawska poses the question of what written form this 'institutionalized reflection' might take. She reviews some key organizational texts to show how the art of persuasion (as opposed to the presentation of'facts') can be deployed. In Writing Management, Barbara Czarniawska explores a number of the related issues and reflects on the growth and claims of management studies. She writes about the relationship between facts and metaphors, stories, and data, and how these may be represented in genres ranging from 'scientific'reports to belles lettres. This provocative and engaging perspective on organizations and organization studies will be vital reading for anybody who is part of either.

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Barbara Czarniawska is one of the most original of contemporary writers on organizations. Sceptical of scientific claims and explanations of the social world, she advocates an approach that draws on narrative, literary theory, cultural studies, and anthropology, rather than positivist socialscience, arguing that 'the social sciences ar...

Barbara Czarniawska is Chair of Management at the Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Gothenburg 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 U...
Format:PaperbackPublished:October 7, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198296142

ISBN - 13:9780198296140

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Table of Contents

1. Management and Organization2. The Narrative in Organization Studies3. Combining Narrative and Scientific Knowledge4. Realism in the Novel and Social Sciences5. On the Absence of Plot in Organization Studies6. Organization Studies and Detective Stories7. Polyphony in Organization Studies8. References

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