- List of Contributors
- Introduction: The Need for Meta-theoretical Reflection in Organization Theory
- Organization Theory as a Positive Science
- Organization Theory as an Interpretive Science
- Organization Theory as a Critical Science? Forms of Analysis and ‘New Organizational Forms’
- Organization Theory as a Postmodern Science
- The Origins of Organization Theory
- The Historical and Epistemological Foundations of Organization Theory: Fusing Sociological Theory with Engineering Discourse
- Feminist Theory and Organization Theory: A Dialogue on New Bases
- The Styles and the Stylists of Organization Theory
- Pluralism, Scientific Progress, and the Structure of Organization Theory
- The Agency/Structure Dilemma in Organization Theory: Open Doors and Brick Walls
- Modes of Explanation in Organization Theory
- Micro and Macro Perspectives in Organization Theory: A Tale of Incommensurability
- Economic versus Sociological Approaches to Organization Theory
- Meta-theoretical Controversies in Studying Organizational Culture
- Actionable Knowledge
- Theory and Practice in the Real World
- Organization Theory and Ethics: Varieties and Dynamics of Constrained Optimization
- Character and Virtue in an Era of Turbulent Capitalism
- The Future of Organization Theory: Prospects and Limitations
- Managing Organization Futures in a Changing World of Power/Knowledge
- The Future of Organization Studies: Beyond the Selection–Adaptation Debate
- At Home from Mars to Somalia: Recounting Organization Studies
- New Times, Fresh Challenges: Reflections on the Past and the Future of Organization Theory
Abstract and Keywords
This article categorizes existing schools of thought by level of analysis. It distinguishes specifically between micro and macro levels of analysis. The organization theory schools of thought at the micro level capture the way that single organizations modify their structures to take account of contingencies originating in their individual task environments. Schools of thought at the macro level focus on the evolution of aggregates of organizations and the characteristics of organizational collectivities such as fields. The former group of schools contains such perspectives as Donaldson's neo-contingency theory, as well as resource dependence theory and transaction costs theory. The latter group — the macro group — includes population ecology theory and neo-institutional theory. The classification of these five schools into micro and macro levels of analysis may be viewed as a tentative heuristic that helps make sense of organization theory's current complexity.
William McKinley received his Ph.D. in organizational sociology from Columbia University, and is currently a Professor of Management at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA. His research interests are organizational restructuring and downsizing, organizational change, organizational decline, epistemological issues in organizational research, and the sociology and philosophy of organization science. His publications have appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Management Inquiry, Organization, Organization Science, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Advances in Strategic Management, Management International Review, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Business Horizons, and other outlets, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark A. Mone, Ph.D., is Professor of Management and Associate Dean, Executive Programs, School of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research areas include philosophical and quantitative research methods issues, organizational downsizing, retrenchment, and turnaround, and antecedents and consequences of personal goals. He is serving on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Review, and his publications have appeared there, in addition to Journal of Applied Psychology, Strategic Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Management, Human Relations, Organization, Journal of Management Inquiry, and in other journals.
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