New Directions for Organization Theory: Problems and Prospects / Edition 1

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Overview

In New Directions for Organization Theory, Jeffrey Pfeffer offers a comprehensive analysis and overview of the field of organization theory and its research literature. This work traces the evolution of organization studies, particularly its more recent history, and highlights the principle concepts and controversies characterizing the study of organizations.

Pfeffer argues that the world of organizations has changed in several important ways, including the increasing externalization of employment and the growing use of contingent workers; the changing size distribution of organizations, with a larger proportion of smaller organizations; the increasing influence of external capital markets on organizational decision-making and a concomitant decrease in managerial autonomy; and increasing salary inequality within organizations in the US compared both to the past and to other industrialized nations. These changes and their public policy implications make it especially important to understand organizations as social entities. But Pfeffer questions whether the research literature of organization studies has either addressed these changes and their causes or made much of a contribution to the discussion of public policy.

New Directions for Organization Theory provides a clear, accessible summary of the current state of organization studies, skillfully synthesizing diverse research and presenting it in an orderly, insightful manner. It offers suggestions for the development of the field, including a call to focus more on issues of design and to use the ability to understand real phenomena to help distinguish among theoretical approaches. A major scholar in the field of organization theory, Jeffrey Pfeffer offers a perspective on its current state that will be of interest and value to scholars and graduate students interested in organizations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jeffrey Pfeffer's book is a real contribution to the field. It is a masterful blend of rigorous literature review and synthesis along with provocative ideas and challenges for scholars of organizations. Pfeffer manages to not only span multiple literatures and levels of analysis, but he also steps back to inject his own critical opinions on where the field of organizations has been and, even more importantly, directions in which it should proceed. This book deserves to be required reading for any individual seriously interested in understanding how and why organizations work the way they do".—Michael Tushman, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University

"...a concise but comprehensive coverage of the main trends in the field.[...]Given the author's well-deserved reputation, I believe that this book...will influence the thinking of researchers in all domains of organizational theory."—Academy of Management Review

"An even-handed, eclectic, at times critical discussion. [. . .] Pfeffer has gathered a significant evidential base that shores up our efforts to translate theory into practice. [. . .] New Directions is vintage Pfeffer scholarship, which means he samples richly, articulately, and knowingly from a vast literature, supplies a reasonable representation of lines of work, and provides an informed pretext for seasoned scholars of organization to ask, 'Is this what I signed on for?' [. . .] This is a good read!"—Administrative Science Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195114348
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.31 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Pfeffer is Thomas D. Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford. He is the author of six books, 90 articles and book chapters and has won numerous academic awards and honors for his research.

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Table of Contents

1. The Development and Scope of Organization Studies
2. Understanding the Causes of Behavior
3. Five Models of Behavior
4. The Effects of Organizational Composition
5. Mechanisms of Social Control
6. Developing and Exercising Power and Influence
7. Organizational Performance
8. Organizations from a Critical Theory Perspective
9. New Directions for Organization Theory
References
Index

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