Agency and Organization: Towards an Organizational Theory of Society

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Sage, 1990 - Business & Economics - 152 pages
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Social theory and organization theory often exist in mutual isolation: social theory analyzes the individual actor and the grand social structure, while organization theory focuses on the dynamics of business enterprises and effective organizational forms. Drawing insights from both perspectives, G um oran Ahrne explores agency - individuals' actions - and organization within their social context. From this fruitful approach emerges the outline of an organizational theory of society.

Working with a broad definition of organization - not only capitalist enterprises but also nation states, families and voluntary associations - the author investigates the role of organizations in regulating the everyday life of the individual. Equally he relates the organization to its context, the social landscape' made up of social and cultural phenomena as well as other organizations. Both market competition and political action are analyzed as forms of interaction between organizational sectors.

Assessing the existing literature on the social theory of bureaucracy and organizations and pointing to new directions in long-running debates on action and structure, this book will command a wide readership among lecturers and students of social and organizational theory.

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System and lifeworld
A New Grand Theory?
The social landscape

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