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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Jürgen Habermas’s contribution to social theory in general and organization studies in particular. Four pillars of Habermas’s thinking are highlighted: (1) his philosophy of language, (2) the resulting theory of communicative action, (3) his contribution to discourse ethics, and (4) his thoughts on deliberative democracy. The chapter discusses how these four pillars have been applied in the context of organization studies. The discussion shows how the scholarly debates on organizational communication, epistemology in organization theory, business ethics, and the political role of non-state actors have profited from Habermas’s theoretical ideas. The chapter also emphasizes that the application of his ideas remains limited in some areas, and that upcoming scholarly work could profit from better acknowledging his recent work on politics and law.

Keywords: Habermas, discourse ethics, organization studies, communicative action, business ethics, deliberative democracy, epistemology

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