Understanding Organization as Process: Theory for a Tangled World - Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society (Hardback)Tor Hernes (author)
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Organization takes place in a tangled world, intermeshed by changing markets, products, standards, technologies, institutions and social groups. Coming to grips with the complexity and fluidity of organization and management is a persistent problem for scholars and practitioners alike, which is why process issues have received renewed interest in recent years. This book, aimed at scholars and higher level students, frames some of these issues in novel and instructive ways.
Process views have existed since before the early Greek philosophers and have made decisive marks in all sciences. Alfred North Whitehead's classic work is a landmark in process philosophy, and his thinking provides renewed impetus to social scientists in search of an expanded framework of process thinking. Theorists such as Niklas Luhmann, Bruno Latour, Karl Weick and James March have contributed significantly towards a process view of organization. In this book, central aspects of their thinking are interpreted and discussed with the help of a broader canvas of process thinking provided by Whitehead. The comparisons do not only allow for interesting connections to be made between the theorists, but they also enable understanding to be made of the thinking behind their respective works. From the analysis, ideas are suggested for a framework for process-based organizational analysis.
Advanced students and academics in sociology, organization studies and management studies will find this book useful in its discussion of such subjects as organization theory, process philosophy and process studies.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 18 mm
'Here, finally we have a carefully traced process philosophical approach to the understanding of organization for a management and organization studies readership. It shows clearly how a 'strong' process view enables us to look at organization from a vastly different light. Instead of surface forms and definite boundaries we are introduced to a non-locatable and dispersive view of organization as a tangled web of precariously held events and relationships. Hernes traces this strain of thought from Heraclitus to Bergson, Whitehead and to key figures in contemporary social theory and organization studies. Seriously scholarly but accomplished with a light and easy touch using everyday examples to illustrate organization as constantly 'becoming', this book is set to redefine the parameters for thinking 'process' in organization and management studies. From Nike to Al Qaeda to the Grameen 'Bank' in Bangladesh we are led to see the labyrinthine nature of organizing and organization.'
Robert Chia, University of Aberdeen, UK
'This book represents a serious attempt to review the ideas of Alfred N. Whitehead as applied to the process of organizing. Here, in the one book, Hernes invites us to review the contributions of Latour, Luhmann, March, and Weick for understanding organisation through the lens of Whitehead's process philosophy. In so doing, he challenges us to think again about the nature of organisation and how we investigate it. Definitely one for the bookshelf!'
Neil Paulsen, University of Queensland Business School, Australia
'Hernes strives to ground contemporary organizational theories of process within an ancient debate about being and becoming. Along the way, he develops a mode of interpretation and analysis that has profound implications for organizational theorists as well as practicing managers.'
Matt Statler, NYU Stern School of Business, USA
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