Presenting the most influential and provocative contributions to the field, this major work reviews the development of organization studies, including both mainstream and more innovative topics, leading through to recent debates on the status of organizations. In addition to over 70 key original articles included in the collection, the set opens with an introductory editorial essay by Stewart Clegg setting out the rationale behind the selections, and providing an illuminating discussion of the development of organization studies and its theoretical foundations.
Every discipline has the tradition of recording the central genealogical line of its development with work that comprises the great, the provocative and the field-defining writings. This major reference, easily organized to ensure comprehensive coverage of the essential tenets in the field, is the definitive resource for students, researchers and academics of organization studies.
§ Volume One: Historical Perspectives and Emergent Tensions looks at the early history of organization theory, including the capitalist versus religious roots of modern organizations and the historically contested reasons for the emergence of modern organizations. It also addresses the emergent tensions in the field as it begins to become a specialist area of study.
§ Volume Two: The Foundations, presents formal theories of modern organizations, addressing the significant founding attempts to have an empirically based science of organizations, which built on the work of the German sociologist, Max Weber. This volume then addresses the landmark studies that began to build systematic foundations for Organization Theory based on empirical analysis, with the work of Hage, Perrow, Pugh and Blau.
§ Volume Three: Debating Organization Contingencies, addresses the central theories of organization, beginning with Contingency Theory, an approach which has become the mainstream of organization theory scholarship, but which has also attracted criticisms from rival perspectives. Those involved in the debate include Child, Mindlin and Aldrich, Donaldson, Pennings, and Powell. The second part of this volume, 'The Environments of Organizations', considers seminal work that stressed specific contingencies as determinate factors in how organization structuring was addressed, involving the work of Trist and Bamforth, Hickson, Pugh and Pheysey, Child and Mansfield, Aldrich, Ford and Slocum.
§ Volume Four: Institutions and Economics, first addresses the distinct institutional approaches that were inspired by the work of Selznick on Weber, which had formed foundations forty years earlier. This volume includes work by Hirsch, Meyer and Rowan, DiMaggio, Powell, Ranson and Hinings, Granovetter, Scott and Suchman. The volume then considers economics, ownership and organizational forms, revealing attempts by the economics profession to address central organizational agencies in their theorizing, starting from Coase, and also Williamson, who was responsible for introducing 'organizational economics' and moving on to the work of Boisot, Ouchi, Fligstein Donaldson, and Barney and others.
Taken together these four volumes represent a diverse and valuable set. The volumes will enable any instructor to construct a coherent and evolutionary course on 'organizations'. Central Currents in Organization Theory Volumes 1 - 4 presents all the main works that lead to the emergence of organization theory and which still constitute central debates in the field.