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 we understand 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 action net. 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 and disorderly 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.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 172
Weight: 299 g
Dimensions: 234 x 157 x 13 mm
Review from other book by this author A stunningly original invitation for social scientists to rethink their craft and recraft their thinking. Czarniawska ponders the abstract catchwords of organization theory and rewords them into challenging new possibilities. Writing Management is vivid proof that the path to enlightenment lies in blurred genres. This is a book whose impact is subtle, deep, and tacit. * Karl E. Weick, Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology at the University of Michigan *
Most theory and research on organizations is qualitative and interpretive, and case studies remain the dominant working style in the field. But canons of argumentation and presentation celebrate more quantitative styles - formal, causal, and scientific in the conventional sense. Barbara Czarniawska is a leader in the contemporary movement to bring the research and writing canons in close correspondence with how most work really goes on. Her vision is of the narrative
rather than the causal model, and of the narrative containing multiple perspectives at that. Her book will be used and valued by all those who want to study and teach about organizations in a broader, more qualitative, and more interpretive and postmodern vein. * John W. Meyer, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University *