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Pragmatist DemocracyEvolutionary Learning as Public Philosophy$
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Christopher Ansell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199772438

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199772438.001.0001

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(p.63) Chapter 4 Organizations
Pragmatist Democracy

Christopher K. Ansell

Oxford University Press

This chapter builds on the work of Mary Parker Follett and Philip Selznick to anchor a tradition of Pragmatist organizational theory. In contrast with Max Weber’s image of bureaucracy, Follett and Selznick reject the dualism of formal versus informal organization. Doing this allows them to imagine a different relationship between central control and decentralized discretion in organizations. Selznick’s perspective on “responsive organizations” supports a problem-solving perspective on organizations and an emphasis on developing the competency and character of organizational communities.

Keywords:   pragmatism, Mary Parker Follett, Philip Selznick, organization theory, informal organization, centralization, decentralization

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