Thirty years on: from organizational structures to the organization of thought

Chia, R. (1997) Thirty years on: from organizational structures to the organization of thought. Organization Studies, 18(4), pp. 685-707. (doi:10.1177/017084069701800406)

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The Aston Studies have proved a seminal reference point for the development of mainstream organization theory. This essay examines and critiques the meta physical underpinnings of positivism as well as attempts to show up the inad equacies of other recent alternatives such as epistemological realism for the development of organizational analysis. It maintains that common organiza tional attributes which positivists and realists claim to discover are in fact mirror images of their own deeply-entrenched thought structures. It therefore proposes that commitment to an alternative process-based becoming ontology opens up the possibilities for rethinking 'organization' as first and fundament ally a process of 'world-making'. The modem world that we find so immedi ately necessary and familiar is one such outcome of organization and it is the analysis of this logic of organization, rather than the current preoccupations of mainstream organization theory, which will provide truly useful insights to management practitioners and to leaders of society. Understood thus, organiza tional analysis becomes a form of metaphysical inquiry.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chia, Professor Robert
Authors: Chia, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Organization Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-3044

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