The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies: Classical Foundations

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Organizations are a defining feature of the modern world, and the study of organizations (Organization Studies) has become well established in both sociology departments and professional schools, most notably in business and management schools.

Organization Studies has long drawn inspiration from foundational work in sociology. In particular, "classical" works in sociology have long stimulated organizational research, by suggesting ways of making sense of the ever-accelerating pace of social change. In recent decades, however, the field has lost interest in these sociology classics. This trend reflects and reinforces an increasingly inward-looking and academic focus of contemporary Organization Studies. Not only does this trend weaken Organization Studies' engagement with the big social issues of our time, but it isolates the field from the broader field of the social sciences.

The aim of this Handbook is to re-assert the importance of classical sociology to the future of Organization Studies. Alongside several thematic chapters, the volume includes chapters on each of nearly two dozen major European and American theorists. Each of these chapters addresses: (a) the ideas and their context, (b) the impact of these ideas on the field of Organization Studies, and (c) the potential future research these ideas might inspire. The goal is not reverential exegesis, but rather to examine how the classics can energize organizational research.

This wide-ranging Handbook, with contributions from leading American and European scholars, will be a vital, informative, and stimulating resource for anybody undertaking research in, teaching, or interested in learning more about Organization Studies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Without exception, these chapters are first-rate and full of insights, even for those well-versed in classical theory. They certainly make a case for the continued vitality of these time-worn works... It is a very good book that will provide countless hours of intellectual stimulation." —Contemporary Sociology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199535231
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/22/2009
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Pages: 752
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Adler began his education in Australia and moved to France in 1974. He received his doctorate in economics and management there while working as a Research Economist for the French government. He came to the USA in 1981, and before arriving at USC in 1991, he was affiliated with the Brookings Institution, Columbia University, the Harvard Business School, and Stanford's School of Engineering. His research and teaching focus on organization theory and design, strategic management and human resource management in R&D, engineering, software, healthcare, and manufacturing operations. He has served as chair of the Technology and Innovation Management Division and the Critical Management Studies Interest Group of the Academy of Management, and he has published widely in academic and managerial journals both in the U.S. and overseas. His most recent book was The Firm as a Collaborative Community: Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy (OUP, 2006).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures x

List of Tables xi

Notes on Contributors xii

Part I The Roles of the Classics

1 Introduction: A Social Science which Forgets its Founders is Lost Paul S. Adler 3

2 The Value of the Classics Patricia H. Thornton 20

Part II European Perspectives

3 Tocqueville as a Pioneer in Organization Theory Richard Swedberg 39

4 Marx and Organization Studies Today Paul S. Adler 62

5 It's Not Just for Communists Any More: Marxian Political Economy and Organizational Theory Richard Marens 92

6 Weber: Sintering the Iron Cage: Translation, Domination, and Rationality Stewart Clegg Michael Lounsbury 118

7 Max Weber and the Ethics of Office Paul du Gay 146

8 On Organizations and Oligarchies: Michels in the Twenty-First Century Pamela S. Tolbert Shon R. Hiatt 174

9 How Durkheim's Theory of Meaning-making Influenced Organizational Sociology Frank Dobbin 200

10 A Durkheimian Approach to Globalization Paul Hirsch Peer C. Fiss Amanda Hoel-Green 223

11 Gabriel Tarde and Organization Theory Barbara Czarniawska 246

12 Georg Simmel: The Individual and the Organization Alan Scott 268

13 Types and Positions: The Significance of Georg Simmel's Structural Theories for Organizational Behavior Rosabeth Moss Kanter Rakesh Khurana 291

14 Schumpeter and the Organization of Entrepreneurship Markus C. Becker Thorbjørn Knudsen 307

15 Norbert Elias's Impact on Organization Studies Ad van Iterson 327

Part III American Perspectives

16 Thorstein Veblen and the Organization of the Capitalist Economy Gary G. Hamilton Misha Petrovic 351

17 The Sociology of Race: The Contributions of W. E. B. Du Bois Stella M. Nkomo 375

18 Organizations and the Chicago School Andrew Abbott 399

19 After James on Identity Arne Carlsen 421

20 Reading Dewey: Some Implications for the Study of Routine Michael D. Cohen 444

21 Mary Parker Follett and Pragmatist Organization Christopher Ansell 464

22 Peopling Organizations: The Promise of Classic Symbolic Interactionism for an Inhabited Institutionalism Tim Hallett David Shulman Gary Alan Fine 486

23 John R. Commons: Back to the Future of Organization Studies Andrew H. Van de Ven Arik Lifschitz 510

24 The Problem of the Corporation: Liberalism and the Large Organization Elisabeth S. Clemens 535

25 Bureaucratic Theory and Intellectual Renewal in Contemporary Organization Studies Michael Reed 559

26 The Columbia School and the Study of Bureaucracies: Why Organizations Have Lives of their Own Heather A. Haveman 585

27 Parsons as an Organization Theorist Charles Heckscher 607

Part IV Afterword

28 Sociological Classics and the Canon in the Study of Organizations Gerald F. Davis Mayer N. Zald 635

Index 647

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