- 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
Organization theory (OT) is concerned with explaining the genesis, existence, functionality, and the transformation of organizations, and by doing so, it is also concerned with influencing organizational practice. OT knowledge differs from individuals' lay knowledge by its systematic and methodic characteristics. There are many organizational theories in textbooks, scholarly journals, etc., which are entirely different from each other. To deal with this variety of topics, the current literature suggests a categorization of themes at different levels of analysis. Depending on whether theories deal with the behaviour of individuals in organizations, with the behaviour of a whole organization, or with relationships among organizations, they could be distinguished into micro, meso, and macro theories of organization. Two distinctions are important in this respect: the research interest of the researcher and the methods used. These distinctions are important to understand the characteristics of different modes of explanations.
Andreas Georg Scherer is Professor at the University of Zurich (Switzerland). His research interests are in business ethics, critical theory, international management, organization theory, and philosophy of science. He has published nine books. His work has appeared in numerous journals and volumes.
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