- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies, Continuing Entanglements
- Michel Foucault and the Administering of Lives
- Bourdieu and Organizational Theory: A Ghostly Apparition?
- The Making of a Paradigm: Exploring the Potential of the Economy of Convention and Pragmatic Sociology of Critique
- Bruno Latour: An Accidental Organization Theorist
- A Theory of ‘Agencing’: On Michel Callon’s Contribution to Organizational Knowledge and Practice
- Niklas Luhmann as Organization Theorist
- Jürgen Habermas and Organization Studies: Contributions and Future Prospects
- Bhaskar and Critical Realism
- The Comparative Analysis of Capitalism and the Study of Organizations
- C. Wright Mills and the Theorists of Power
- Organizational Analysis: Goffman and Dramaturgy
- Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology
- Rational Choice Theory and the Analysis of Organizations
- Clifford Geertz and the Interpretation of Organizations
- Risk, Social Theories, and Organizations
- Arlie Russell Hochschild: Spacious Sociologies of Emotion
- Discourse and Communication
- The Second Time Farce: Business School Ethicists and the Emergence of Bastard Rawlsianism
- Hayek and Organization Studies
- Social Movement Theory and Organization Studies
- What’s New in the ‘<i>New</i>, New Economic Sociology’ and Should Organization Studies Care?
- Critical Theory and Organization Studies
- British Industrial Sociology and Organization Studies: A Distinctive Contribution
- Anthony Giddens and Structuration Theory
- Engendering the Organizational: Feminist Theorizing and Organization Studies
- Organization Studies and the Subjects of Imperialism
- Space and Organization Studies
- Organization Studies, Sociology, and the Quest for a Public Organization Theory
- What Makes Organization? Organizational Theory as a ‘Practical Science’
Abstract and Keywords
The rational choice perspective to organizational analysis directs us to understand the design, the boundaries, and the operation of control and coordination mechanisms, each from the standpoint of individual rational purposive action. It does, however, under specified assumptions permit the individual to be replaced by a collective actor like a group. This chapter promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of organizations based upon rational choice theory. Five mechanisms of organizational control and coordination are identified: incentives, monitoring, power and influence, participation, and organizational culture. The vertical, horizontal, and hierarchical boundaries of organizations are studied in the context of these mechanisms.
Peter Abell is Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics (Managerial Economics and Strategy Group). His interests include mathematical sociology and networks, formalizing qualitative methods (Bayesian narratives), the political economy of producer cooperatives in developing countries, and inter-disciplinary organization theory.
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