Reasons and Rationalizations: The Limits to Organizational Knowledge / Edition 1

Reasons and Rationalizations: The Limits to Organizational Knowledge / Edition 1

by Chris Argyris
     
 

What is the purpose of social science and management research? Do scholars and researchers have a responsibility to generate insights and knowledge that are of practical and implementable value and validity?

We are told that we live in turbulent and changing times -- should this not offer an important opportunity for management researchers to provide understanding

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Overview

What is the purpose of social science and management research? Do scholars and researchers have a responsibility to generate insights and knowledge that are of practical and implementable value and validity?

We are told that we live in turbulent and changing times -- should this not offer an important opportunity for management researchers to provide understanding and guidance? Yet there is still widespread concern about the efficacy of much research. These are some of the pressing problems that Chris Argyris addresses in this book.

Argyris is one of the best known management scholars in the world -- a leading light whose work has consistently addressed fundamental organizational questions, and who has provided some of the key concepts and building blocks of our understanding of organizational learning: single and double learning, theory in use, and espoused theory, amongst others.

In this book, he questions many of the assumptions of organizational theory and research, an investigation which is not confined to academic analysis. He also scrutinizes that capacity for 'unproductive reasoning' (even as self-deception and rationalization) that is common amongst managers, consultants, and indeed more generally. As well as engaging with the work of leading organizational researchers (Sennett, Gabriel, Burgelman, Czarniawska, and Grint, for example), he also ponders the work of the consultants, commentators, and accountants who endorsed Enron.

Throughout, his purpose is to affirm the goal and values of useful knowledge. His enquiry is direct but fair; challenging, if at times uncompromising. Drawing on his own wealth of experience of researching and working with organizations, this book will be a reference point for developing useful knowledge and confronting the defences and deceptions that are only too commonplace in the business and academic worlds.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199268078
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 5.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction1
2The corrosion of character : capitalist and socialist economics18
3Inhibiting double-loop learning in business organizations34
4Inhibiting double-loop learning in government and information technology69
5Features of scholarly inquiry that inhibit double-loop learning and implementable validity92
6Interventions that facilitate double-loop learning129
7Organizational interventions that facilitate double-loop learning173
8Conclusion212
References223
Index233

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