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Social Theory for Action: How Individuals and Organizations Learn to Change

Overview

How do individuals, groups and organizations function? Exploring this question, the noted sociologist William Foote Whyte develops a comprehensive theory of individual motivation, social interaction and organizational learning by drawing upon research on social settings, industrial organizations and agricultural development.

Committed to the concept of participation as a strategy both for organizational functioning and for research, Whyte convincingly demonstrates the efficacy ...

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Overview

How do individuals, groups and organizations function? Exploring this question, the noted sociologist William Foote Whyte develops a comprehensive theory of individual motivation, social interaction and organizational learning by drawing upon research on social settings, industrial organizations and agricultural development.

Committed to the concept of participation as a strategy both for organizational functioning and for research, Whyte convincingly demonstrates the efficacy of his views in examples as diverse as Peruvian potato farmers, Spanish work cooperatives and Fortune 500 corporations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803941670
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/7/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312

Meet the Author

William Foote Whyte, a sociology professor known for his work with urban gangs, died July 16. He was eighty-six. A 1936 graduate of Swarthmore, he earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago. He began teaching on the Hill in 1948 as one of the first ILR professors. The title of his autobiography, Participant Observer, reflects his approach to academia--that a researcher can be a positive force for social change. "If there is a common theme in my work, it is my commitment to social exploration," he wrote. "Fieldwork fascinates me. I want to explain what is out there."

Whyte, who became an emeritus professor in 1979, published twenty books, including the ground-breaking Street Corner Society, a 1943 study of Italian gangs in Boston's North End. He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Kathleen King Whyte, four children, twelve grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
PART ONE: PARTICIPATION IN AGRICULTURE
Discovering What Ain't So in Agricultural Research and Development
The Context for Organizational Learning in Agricultural Research and Development
Developing the Guatemalan Model
Potatoes, Peasants and Professionals
International Diffusion in Agricultural Participation
PART TWO: PARTICIPATION IN INDUSTRY
Discovering What Ain't So in Industrial Relations
Social Research On Organizational Behavior in Industry
Organizational Learning Internationally
Organizational Learning in North American Industry
Coping with the New Manufacturing Organization
Analyzing an Organizational Culture
American Diffusion in Industrial Participation
PART THREE: THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS
Why and How Do Participatory Practices Work?
Motivation in a Socio-Economic Context
Costs and Benefits in Elementary Transactional Relationships
Costs and Benefits in Complex Transactional Relationships
Combining Joint-Payoffs with Multi-Objective Planning
Determinants of Meaning of Rewards and Penalties
PART FOUR: INTEGRATING THEORY AND PRACTICE
Theory and Practice in Agriculture and Industry
Theory and Practice in Applied Social Research Methods
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