Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the Aston Studies, a series of comparative investigations into the sources of organizational structure carried out over the 1960s and 1970s. They were essentially designed to test the notion that organizational structure must in some way fit its operational context, and that these contingent conditions could be ascertained in a universally determinative fashion. The question of ‘fit’ in the Aston exposition of contingency theory has been challenged at a number of levels. The article suggests that the assumption that statistical correlation offers a performative meaning to a relationship, while of evident heuristic value, has come to be questioned in the ideographic critique of some Aston researchers. In this sense, the Aston mission to establish a science of organizational design has been overtaken by applied research in organizational strategy, often driven by relatively limited measures of realized performance and with little concern for its wider social systemic implications.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.