A Tale of Three Cities: Or the Glocalization of City Management

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 161 pages
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Cities are complex, sprawling, diverse places. They are organized, but disorganized; managed, but unmanaged; orderly, but disorderly. Modern metropolitan cities reproduce themselves and we are familiar with the common icons that are replicated in every part of the globe, but how should weunderstand cities?For the past five years, Professor Czarniawska has been leading a research project on globalization and the management of cities. Rather than seeing the city as a conurbation, or a location of economic activity, or in terms of governance and administration, Czarniawska explores the city as an actionnet. An action net of this sort includes various organizations-municipal, state, private, and voluntary-and non-organized individuals. Such an approach was designed to avoid the fallacy of viewing the big city as one big organization. The city is thus conceived as a particularly complex anddisorderly action net; a seamless web of interorganizational networks, where the city administration proper constitutes just one point of entry and by no means provides a map of the entire terrain. The research focuses on three European capitals: Warsaw, Stockholm, and Rome. At the outset, leading politicians and officials in each city listed the major problems and projects that the city was engaged in, for example environmental reforms, improvement of public utilities, privatization,financial targets, etc. The author selected a number of these for more detailed study, reporting upon interesting similarities and differences between the approaches taken. The book aims to explore organizing processes in their local context while following the connections between such contexts.
 

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Contents

The Work of Representation
16
Traffic and Transport or the Difficulties of Reframing
41
Coercion or Mimesis?
69
The Invention of Tradition and Social Memory
88
City Management in Its Cultural Context
113
The Fashionable City
131
References
144
City Maps
152
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About the author (2002)

Barbara Czarniawska is Skandia Professor of Management Studies at the Gothenburg Research Institute, Goteborg University, and is widely regarded as one of the leading Europeans in the field of organization studies. Previous positions include Chair of Management in the Department of BusinessAdministration, Lund University, and Associate Professor and Acting Chair in Public Management at the Stockholm School of Economics. Recent academic posts abroad include Arthur Andersen Visiting Fellow at the Department of Accounting and Finance, London School of Economics and Political Science(March 1996), and Visiting Professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria (1994).

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