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A Process Theory of Organization$
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Tor Hernes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695072.001.0001

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Why Assumptions in Organization Theory Do Not Work for Explaining Organizing in a World on the Move

Why Assumptions in Organization Theory Do Not Work for Explaining Organizing in a World on the Move

Chapter:
(p.11) 2 Why Assumptions in Organization Theory Do Not Work for Explaining Organizing in a World on the Move
Source:
A Process Theory of Organization
Author(s):

Tor Hernes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695072.003.0002

This chapter proposes six assumptions that underlie traditional organization theory that have been directed towards the view of organizations as stable, delineated entities circumscribed by boundaries that separate them from their external environments. The assumptions have helped establish organization studies as a discipline within the social sciences. However, a number of changes have been taking place over the past couple of decades that invite a view of organizations as emergent processes of interaction between heterogeneous entities of widely different sizes, operating from different times and from different places. This is what accounts for a world on the move, and makes it necessary to study the extent to which dominant assumptions underlying traditional organization theory respond to the emergent economic and social realities. The chapter begins with arguments about why it is important to assume a world on the move and then examines each of the six assumptions in turn.

Keywords:   correspondence assumptions, misplaced concreteness, homogeneity, circumscription and proximity, stability and change, inert temporalities

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