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Accounting for 'Organization': round-up the usual suspects

Jones, Oswald and Sharifi, Sudi and Conway, Steve (2006) Accounting for 'Organization': round-up the usual suspects. ISSN 1045-2354

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Abstract

Over the last 15 years, critical organization theorists have increasingly adopted postmodernist perspectives. The setting-up of Organization by a group of “radical organization theorists” provided an outlet for a network of authors who considered “conventional” management journals restricted their thinking and writing. Since the first issue in 1994, Organization has become established as an important outlet for scholars from a wide range of countries. This diversity is combined with a concentration of authors associated with five universities, Warwick, UMIST, Lancaster, Keele (UK) and Massachusetts Amherst (US) who account for more than 27% of all publications during the first 8 years. We use the concepts of “solidarity group” and “invisible college” [de Solla Price DJ. Science since Babylon. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1961; de Solla Price DJ. Little science, big science. New York: Columbia University Press; 1963; de Solla Price DJ, Beaver D. Collaboration in an invisible college. Am Psychol 1966;21:1011–8; Crane D. Invisible colleges: diffusion of knowledge in scientific communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972] as the basis for a critical analysis of this network of authors many of whom are linked to the journal's editorial board. We also offer a critique of the bureaucratic nature of the journal's Organizational structure that, we suggest, contradicts the principles underpinning postmodernism. For example, Cooper and Burrell distinguish between the modernist “control” model and the “autonomy” model that approximates to the postmodernist perspective.

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