- 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 is largely about management in many of its guises and how this intermediate group relates to both its hierarchical superiors and its subordinates. It involves the careful investigation and critique of knowledge about management that has been developed by a community of scholars, where management is seen as a middle-ranking social grouping within organizational contexts and it is only understood in terms of its relations to its superiors and subordinates. This article talks about the new epistemological and methodological orientations that are to be adopted. The question of what interrelationships within organization theory needs to be rephrased to include the encouragement of neo-disciplinarity, the involvement of the young in the dissemination and creation of newly published material, and closer connections of a non-exploitative kind with other social science disciplines.
Gibson Burrell is Professor at the University of Leicester, UK. He is about to finish his 40-year stint as a full-time paid academic with some reluctance. He looks back upon a time when research-led indolence marked British academic life—and was the better for it. He submitted his first academic article to a journal seven years into a Lectureship which is inconceivable today, even if more of us should remain silent for longer. And with that nostalgia possessed by the old, he says of his time that he wouldn’t change a thing. How smugly Panglossian is that?
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