- 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 has displayed a remarkable creativity during its roughly 100 years of existence. But even if organization theory is interdisciplinary, it remains a stubborn fact that most research on organizations is carried out within distinct disciplines and according to disciplinary traditions. This article presents the concept of organizational economics. The main focus of this article is on transaction cost analysis, agency analysis, and also the evolutionary, game theoretical and property rights perspectives. This is followed by a presentation of the way that firms have been studied in economic sociology, and here the article discusses the Weberian heritage in organizational sociology, the focus on firms in this type of sociology and the role that culture and meaning plays in it. Finally, this article concludes with a brief discussion of the antagonism between organizational economics and the sociology of organizations, and how this antagonism perhaps can be overcome.
Richard Swedberg is Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. His two areas of specialization are economic sociology and social theory. His books include: The Handbook of Economic Sociology (edited with Neil Smelser, 1994, 2005), Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology (1998), and Principles of Economic Sociology (2003). He is currently working on a study of Tocqueville and economics.
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