- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies, Continuing Entanglements
- Michel Foucault and the Administering of Lives
- Bourdieu and Organizational Theory: A Ghostly Apparition?
- The Making of a Paradigm: Exploring the Potential of the Economy of Convention and Pragmatic Sociology of Critique
- Bruno Latour: An Accidental Organization Theorist
- A Theory of ‘Agencing’: On Michel Callon’s Contribution to Organizational Knowledge and Practice
- Niklas Luhmann as Organization Theorist
- Jürgen Habermas and Organization Studies: Contributions and Future Prospects
- Bhaskar and Critical Realism
- The Comparative Analysis of Capitalism and the Study of Organizations
- C. Wright Mills and the Theorists of Power
- Organizational Analysis: Goffman and Dramaturgy
- Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology
- Rational Choice Theory and the Analysis of Organizations
- Clifford Geertz and the Interpretation of Organizations
- Risk, Social Theories, and Organizations
- Arlie Russell Hochschild: Spacious Sociologies of Emotion
- Discourse and Communication
- The Second Time Farce: Business School Ethicists and the Emergence of Bastard Rawlsianism
- Hayek and Organization Studies
- Social Movement Theory and Organization Studies
- What’s New in the ‘<i>New</i>, New Economic Sociology’ and Should Organization Studies Care?
- Critical Theory and Organization Studies
- British Industrial Sociology and Organization Studies: A Distinctive Contribution
- Anthony Giddens and Structuration Theory
- Engendering the Organizational: Feminist Theorizing and Organization Studies
- Organization Studies and the Subjects of Imperialism
- Space and Organization Studies
- Organization Studies, Sociology, and the Quest for a Public Organization Theory
- What Makes Organization? Organizational Theory as a ‘Practical Science’
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter makes a case for public organization theory. It begins by tracing the rise of theory development as the central focus in organization studies. Problems with an overriding focus on theory development are pointed out. These include being irrelevant, neglecting empirical issues, adopting a baroque style, amoralism, and a profusion of uninteresting questions. To address these problems, I suggest scholarship focused on theory development might be supplemented by public organization theory. This approach entails: (1) engaging with substantive questions, (2) which have a clear organizational dimension and are of public concern, (3) with a sceptical attitude, (4) which is grounded in contextual detail, and (5) with the aim of addressing a broader public. The chapter concludes by giving some example of how these strategies have been used in existing studies of organizations.
André Spicer is Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Cass Business School, City University, London. He has published widely on power and politics in and around organizations. His books include Unmasking the Entrepreneur and Contesting the Corporation. Currently he is working on a project examining stupidity in organizations.
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.