Sociology and Organization Theory: Positivism, Paradigms and Postmodernity
It has been claimed that organization theory is in a state of 'crisis'. This book traces the history of the orthodox systems theory paradigm in organization studies from its foundations in positivist sociology, through its theoretical and empirical development under structural-functionalism, to its recent deconstruction by postmodernists. The analysis offers general support for the 'sociology-in-crisis' thesis, but takes issue with one of its main propositions, that paradigms are incommensurable. It is argued that paradigms are porous rather than hermetic phenomena, a fact which has profound implications for the theory building process. Based on language-game philosophy, a dialectical theory is developed to illustrate how seemingly exclusive idioms can be mediated. The enquiry provides a pluri-paradigm method for organizational research, and an epistemological framework for postmodern organizational analysis.
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achieve action alternative approach argues argument assumptions attempts basis become behaviour Burrell and Morgan central Comte concept concern continuous contrast Cooper critical culture debate define described differentiation direct discussion dominant Donaldson Durkheim emphasis empirical environment epistemological equilibrium especially example explain fact Finally firefighters four framework functionalism functionalist goal human individual industrial influence integration internal interpretive issues knowledge Kuhn language language-game laws logic major meaning method methodology modern motivation nature needs normative notes notion objective offers organization theory organizational analysis origins paradigm Parsons particular period perspective philosophy position postmodern practice present principles problems production progress question radical rational reference reflects relations relationships represents result scientific Service social science social systems society sociology Spencer structure suggests systems theory task theoretical thesis understanding values writing