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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter treats Modernity as a cultural and social project of modernization that involves bringing as many aspects of human existence as possible under the control of rational processes of knowledge and practice. Management is thus at the heart of this project as it is a means to the end of establishing rational order through design, classification, and intervention. The chapter begins by looking at how formal theories of administration have sought to further modernization before going on to how more sociological approaches have dealt with the relationship between management and Modernity. Finally, it proposes an alternative understanding of Weber’s concept of the Iron Cage in order to capture the tension at the heart of Modernity where ever greater rationalization is in conflict with the desire for stability and certainty.

Keywords: modernity, modernization, rationalization, control, administration, Iron Cage

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