Managing Organizations: Current Issues


Edited by: Stewart R. Clegg, Cynthia Hardy & Walter R. Nord

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Editorial Board

    Howard E. Aldrich

    Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Mats Alvesson

    Department of Business Administration, Lund University

    Koya Azumi

    Department of Social Sciences, International Christian University

    Per Olof Berg

    Management Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School

    Gibson Burrell

    School of Industrial and Business Studies, University of Warwick

    Marta Calás

    School of Management, University of Massachusetts

    Barbara Czarniawska

    School of Economics and Management, Lund University

    Peter Frost

    Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia

    Jane Marceau

    Pro-Vice Chancellor Research, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur

    Stella Nkomo

    Belk College of Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    Andrew Pettigrew

    Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change, Warwick Business School

    Linda L. Putnam

    Department of Speech Communication, Texas A & M University

    Karlene Roberts

    Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California

    Suzana Rodrigues

    Faculty of Management, Federal University of Minais Geras

    Linda Smircich

    School of Management, University of Massachusetts

    Barry Staw

    Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California

    Roberto Venosa

    Getúlio Vargas Foundation, St. Pauls Business College

    Karl E. Weick

    Faculty of Management, University of Michigan

    David Whetten

    Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


    View Copyright Page


    Stewart dedicates this book to Lynne who, as ever, was a great help in so many ways, but also to Jonathan and William as well as Bill and Joyce

    Cynthia dedicates this book to all the wonderful friends she leaves behind in Canada and all the friends – old and new – she joins in Australia

    Walt dedicates this book to three people who have helped so much in his life – Ann Nord, Arthur Nord and Elizabeth Nord


    Max H. Bazerman is the J. Jay Gerber Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. His research focuses on decision making, negotiation, fairness, social comparison processes and, most recently, environmental decision making and dispute resolution. He is the author or co-author of over ninety research articles, and the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books, including Judgement in Managerial Decision Making (1994, 3rd edn), Cognition and Rationality in Negotiation (1991, with M.A. Neale), and Negotiating Rationally (1992, with M.A. Neale).

    Alan Bryman is Professor of Social Research in the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, England. His main research interests lie in research methodology and leadership studies, though he is currently co-director of a research project on the portrayal of social science research in the British mass media. He is the author of a number of books, including Quantity and Quality in Social Research (1988), Charisma and Leadership in Organizations (1992), and Disney and his Worlds (1995). He is editor or co-editor of Doing Research in Organizations (1988), Analyzing Qualitative Data (1994), and Social Scientists Meet the Media (1994).

    Pamela Chapman is a doctoral student in organizational communication at Purdue University. She received her BA in communication from Rutgers University. Her research focuses on gender and organizational communication and is guided by critical and postmodern feminist perspectives. Her current interests include the discursive construction of sexual harassment and institutionalized sexism.

    Stewart R. Clegg moved to Australia for a job in 1976 and has been there ever since, apart from an interregnum in Scotland in the early 1990s. He has held a Chair in Sociology at the University of New England, 1985-9; a Chair in Organization Studies at the University of St Andrews, 1990-3; and was the Foundation Chair of Management at the University of Western Sydney, Macarthur, 1993-6. He is currently Professor of Management at the University of Technology, Sydney. He was a founder of APROS (Asian and

    Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies) in the early 1980s, and has been the co-editor of The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, as well as editor of a leading European journal, Organization Studies. He serves on the editorial boards of many other leading journals. Amongst the many books that he has published are Frameworks of Power (1989), Modern Organizations: Organization Studies in the Postmodern World (1990), and Capitalism in Contrasting Cultures (1990), Constituting Management (1996) and The Politics of Management Knowledge (1996) (both with Gill Palmer), Transformations of Corporate Culture (1998) (with Toyohiro Kono), Changing Paradigms: The Transformation of Management Knowledge for the 21st Century (1998) (with Thomas Clarke), and Global Management: Universal Theories and Local Realities (1998) (with Eduardo Ibarra and Luis Bueno). He has published widely in the journals. He researched the leadership and management needs of embryonic industries for the Taskforce on Leadership and Management in the Twenty First Century commissioned by the Federal Government of Australia, which reported in 1995.

    Taylor Cox Jr is Associate Professor in the Organization Behavior and Human Resource Management Department of the School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is also founder and President of Taylor Cox & Associates, a research and consulting firm specializing in organization change and development work for employers with culturally diverse workforces. His work history includes nine years of management experience and twelve years of college and executive teaching. In addition to his work at the University of Michigan, he has held faculty appointments at Duke University and with the Industrial and Labor Relations School of Cornell University. He is author or co-author of more than twenty published articles on a variety of management topics including manufacturing strategy, performance appraisal, promotion systems and managing cultural diversity. His book Cultural Diversity in Organizations: Theory, Research and Practice (1993) was co-winner of the 1994 George R. Terry Book Award. His consulting practice has included education programmes, research, strategic planning and organization development work with more than a dozen organizations including Ford, Exxon and Philips.

    Deborah Dougherty, after working in the trenches of several large bureaucracies for ten years, returned to school to study the prospects of innovation in large bureaucracies. She is now Associate Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Management, where she teaches policy and innovation management. Deborah also taught at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, for five years, and at the Graduate School of Management, University of Melbourne. Her research papers on product innovation, understanding new markets, and organizing for innovation have been published in various journals. In addition to the review chapter in this handbook, she has contributed six other book chapters. Her current research concerns whether and how large, long-established organizations can transform to be more effectively innovative.

    Carolyn P. Egri is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. Her research and writing have primarily been concerned with innovation, organizational power and politics, organizational change and development, as well as environmental and social issues in society and organizations. Recent publications concerning environmental issues include being guest co-editor (with P.J. Frost) of the Leadership Quarterly special issue on ‘Leadership for environmental and social change’, and a chapter in Resistance and Power in Organizations: Agency, Subjectivity and the Labor Process (eds J.M. Jermier et al.).

    Tiffany L. Galvin is a PhD student in organization behaviour at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Her research interests can be classified into two areas: understanding organizational change as influenced by social-structural and institutional processes and understanding organizational change within institutional environments. In the first area, Tiffany has worked on understanding corporate restructuring activity (e.g. divestitures and downsizing) through both economic and social influence/embeddedness processes. In the second area, Tiffany is pursuing questions surrounding how firms change and how new organizational forms emerge, particularly within institutional environments like health care and education. Her work seeks to explore organizational actions traditionally explained by economic-based rationales through more socially influenced explanations.

    Martha Grabowski served as a shipboard merchant marine officer for EI Paso Marine Company, Exxon Shipping Company, and Hvide Shipping. She subsequently spent ten years at GE, as a marketing and advanced programmes manager within GE Aerospace. Most recently, she was a programme integration manager for information systems and artificial intelligence research programmes at GE's Corporate Research and Development Center in Schenectady, New York. Currently, she is the Joseph C. Georg Chaired Professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr Grabowski also serves as a member of the National Research Council Marine Board, and as a member of the Secretary of Transportation's Navigation Safety Advisory Council. In 1993-4 she chaired the Marine Board study which investigated advances in marine navigation and piloting; that study report, Minding the Helm: Advances in Marine Navigation and Piloting, was released in October 1994. Over the past six years, she has developed a shipboard piloting expert system for oil tankers in Prince William Sound, which is an intelligent software module within an integrated ship's bridge system. She is currently developing similar systems for the St Lawrence Seaway and San Francisco Bay. Dr Grabowski's research interests include human and organizational error in large-scale systems; real-time knowledge-based systems; development methods for advanced information technology systems; and the organizational impacts of information technology.

    Cynthia Hardy was previously Professor of Policy in the Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and is presently Professor and Head of the Department of Management at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests have spanned organizational power and politics; managing strategic change; retrenchment and downsizing; strategy making in universities; and interorganizational collaboration. She has published a number of books, including Managing Strategic Action: Mobilizing Change (1994), Strategies for Retrenchment and Turnaround: the Politics of Survival (1990), Managing Strategy in Academic Institutions: Learning from Brazil (1990), and Managing Organizational Closure (1985). An edited volume on Power and Politics in Organizations was published in 1995, and a book on retrenchment in Canadian universities in 1996. Dr Hardy has also published over forty articles in scholarly journals and books.

    David J. Hickson is Research Professor of International Management and Organization at Bradford Management Centre, England. His principal research interests are how societal culture affects managerial decision-making in different nations, and what influences the success of major decisions. His previous research has included processes of managerial decision-making, power in organizations and bureaucratization. He was founding editor-inchief of the international research journal Organization Studies from 1979 to 1990, and was a founder of the European research association in his field, EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies). He has held appointments in university business schools and research institutes in Canada, the United States and The Netherlands, has an Honorary PhD from the University of Umeå in Sweden, and has lectured widely around the world. He has published numerous research journal papers and book chapters and is author or editor of eight books, most recently Management in Western Europe (1993) and Management Worldwide: the Impact of Societal Culture on Organizations around the Globe (1995, with Derek Pugh). Prior to becoming an academic, David Hickson worked in financial administration, and qualified professionally as a Chartered Secretary and in personnel management.

    Susan J. Miller is currently Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour and Strategic Management at Durham University Business School, England. Her research interests include the making and implementation of strategic decisions in organizations, particularly focusing on reasons for decision success. She is also involved in the health sector, and recent work in this area has concentrated on the managerial/clinical interface, looking at the ways in which clinicians’ contribution to the strategic direction of health service organizations can be identified and developed.

    Margaret A. Neale is Professor of Organization Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research interests include: negotiation and dispute resolution, identifying a series of cognitive mechanisms such as the use of cognitive biases that systematically reduce the quality of potential agreements; the impact of cognitive biases on decision-making in the human resource management arena; factors that influence the cognitions of the decision-maker, such as relationships among the parties, what is being allocated (burdens or benefits), and the selection of allocation norms within groups; and how people collaborate, the selection of collaborative partners and the cognitive and affective mechanisms that enhance collaboration among successful teams. She is the co-author of three books: Organizational Behavior: the Managerial Challenge (1994, 2nd edn), Cognition and Rationality in Negotiation (1991), and Negotiating Rationally (1992).

    Stella M. Nkomo is Professor of Management in the Belk College of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a former Bunting Fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College. Her research has focused on human resource management practices in organizations with a special emphasis on strategic human resource planning. Her current research examines race, gender and diversity in the workplace. She and her colleague Dr Ella L. Bell are writing a book on the life and career experiences of black and white women managers in private sector corporations. She is also observing and evaluating diversity initiatives in eight not-for-profit organizations in the Southeast. Dr Nkomo is the past Chair of the Women and Management Division of the Academy of Management. Her research and writing have appeared in several journals. She is the co-author of the text Applications in Human Resource Management.

    Walter R. Nord is currently Professor of Management at the University of South Florida. Previously he was at Washington University-St Louis (1967-89). His current interests centre on developing a critical political economics perspective of organizations, organizational innovation, and organizational conflict. He has published widely in scholarly journals and edited/authored a number of books. His recent books include The Meanings of Occupational Work (with A. Brief), Implementing Routine and Radical Innovations (with S. Tucker), Organizational Reality: Reports from the Firing Line (with P. Frost and V. Mitchell), and Resistance and Power in Organizations (with J. Jermier and D. Knights). He is currently co-editor of Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal and a recent past book review editor for the Academy of Management Review. He has served as consultant on organizational development and change for a variety of groups and organizations.

    Barbara Parker is an associate professor of management in the Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University, USA. Following a PhD in strategic management from the University of Colorado in 1985 she has taught and conducted research in a broad range of interest areas including managing diversity, gender roles, expatriate adjustment and managing small businesses in an international context. Teaching areas include strategy, international management, diversity management and globalization. She has published widely in various journals. Seattle University offers a required course in Globalization and Business Practices; writing the text for that course is a current project for Barbara Parker. Some of the ideas found in this contributed chapter emerged from the text project.

    Nelson Phillips is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management at McGill University. He completed a PhD in Organizational Analysis at the University of Alberta. He has published articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Organization Studies. His research interests include organizational legitimacy, organizational collaboration and a general interest in the intersection of cultural studies and organizational analysis.

    Lawrence T. Pinfield is a Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada. His study of the internal labour market of a large forestry firm, The Operation of Internal Labor Markets: Staffing Activities and Vacancy Chains, was published by Plenum in 1995. Current interests include extensions of findings from his studies of ILMs: how patterns of vacancy chains support processes of organizational adaptation; how stock-flow models of human resources create and are modified by corporate cultures; what rules managers use to create and modify jobs; and how careers may be managed in organizations characterized by dynamic patterns of jobs.

    Linda L. Putnam is Professor and Head of the Department of Speech Communication at Texas A & M University. Her current research interests include negotiation and organizational conflict, and language analysis in organizations. She has published over 60 articles and book chapters in management and communication journals. She is the co-editor of Communication and Negotiation (1992), Handbook of Organizational Communication (1987) and Communication and Organization: An Interpretive Approach (1983). She is the 1993 recipient of the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award for a seminal article in the communication field and is a Fellow of the International Communication Association.

    Karlene H. Roberts is Professor of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests have been in organizational communication, research methodology, and cross-national management. More recently she has researched the design and management of organizations in which errors can lead to catastrophic consequences. She has studied organizations that both succeeded and failed at this challenge. In the last three years she has devoted much of her time to investigating management issues in the marine industry.

    Arthur D. Shulman has over twenty-five years’ experience as a teacher, researcher and international consultant on organizational communication planning and management. Art is concurrently Reader in the Graduate School of Management, University of Queensland, and the Principal Research Fellow of the Communication Research Institute of Australia. He is the author or coauthor of over 90 scholarly publications. His current research activities focus on ways of improving R&D team management in the health, environmental, and information technology sectors. His prior academic appointments include Associate Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Washington University, and Associate Professor and Coordinator of Organizational Communication, Bond University.

    Ann E. Tenbrunsel is an Assistant Professor in the Management Department at the University of Notre Dame. Her interests are concentrated in two research streams: one stream that aims at understanding why people engage in desirable versus undesirable behaviours, and another that investigates how decisions and behaviours are influenced by other people. In the first area, Ann has focused on understanding the factors that drive unethical behaviour, the influence of rules or standards on behaviour, strategic approaches to corporate philanthropy and the conceptual differences between the allocation of burdens and benefits. In the second area, Ann has examined the role that social comparison plays in job choice decisions, the influence of friendships in a matching market context, the transmission of sunk costs across negotiation partners, and the dual influence of family and work involvement.

    Karl E. Weick is the Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology at the University of Michigan. He is also a former editor of Administrative Science Quarterly. Dr Weick has been associated with faculties at Purdue University, the University of Minnesota, Cornell University, and the University of Texas. He has also held short-term appointments at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, Wabash College, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University, and Seattle University. In 1990 Weick received the highest honour awarded by the Academy of Management, the Irwin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarly Achievement. In the same year, he also received the award for the Best Article of the Year in the Academy of Management Review. Dr Weick studies such topics as how people make sense of confusing events, the social psychology of improvization, high-reliability systems, the effects of stress on thinking and imagination, indeterminacy in social systems, social commitment, small wins as the embodiment of wisdom, and linkages between theory and practice. Weick's writing about these topics is collected in four books, including The Social Psychology of Organizing and the co-authored Managerial Behaviour, Performance and Effectiveness. In addition, he has written widely in the journals and elsewhere. Weick has also consulted with a variety of organizations in the public and private sector.

    Frances Westley is Associate Professor of Strategy in the Faculty of Management at McGill University. She has published numerous articles on the subject of managing strategic change and is currently involved in research and teaching in the area of sustainable development.

    Richard Whipp is Professor of Human Resource Management at Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, and the Deputy Director of the School responsible for research. He has taught and researched at Aston and Warwick Business Schools, the University of Uppsala and the Helsinki School of Economics. His book publications include: Innovation and the Auto Industry (with P. Clark), Patterns of Labour: Managing Change for Competitive Success (with A. Pettigrew) and Competition and Chaos. His current research centres on the relationship between the organization and strategy fields and the problem of time.

    David C. Wilson was Professor of Organization Studies and Director of Research at the University of Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK, before returning recently to a Chair at the University of Warwick Business School, where he has previously worked (1985-93) for eight years in the Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change. His research interests include decision-making, strategy and change. He has published five books on these topics, the most recent of which include A Strategy of Change (1992) and Strategy and Leadership (1994, with B. Leavy). He was an original member of the Bradford Research Group studying decision-making in the 1970s and continues to research the processes and implementation of strategic decisions. He has also conducted research in the UK voluntary sector, assessing to what extent organization theory can apply to charitable and non-profit activities. He is Deputy Editor of the journal Organization Studies.


    This volume derives from the 1996 Handbook of Organization Studies. Originally, the Handbook was launched primarily for a research audience. Since its launch, the book's success has led to many requests for a paperback edition, particularly in a format that instructors and students might use. Recognition from the American Academy of Management which honoured the Handbook with its 1997 George R. Terry award for ‘the most outstanding contributions to the advancement of management knowledge’ has further increased interest in the Handbook. Accordingly, the editors and the publisher decided to launch a paperback version in 1999.

    We decided to split the Handbook into two volumes. We wanted to produce a paperback version that would be more practical for teaching purposes. On the other hand, we also wanted to preserve the original integrity and structure of the Handbook. Volume 1, published as Studying Organizations, consists of the original Parts One and Three. It focuses on theoretical issues and the link between theory and practice. Volume 2 consists of the original Part Two and focuses on substantive organisational issues. Of course, there is some overlap between these categories but, nonetheless, each volume stands as a coherent entity with appeal to particular audiences.

    The editors would like to thank Rosemary Nixon and the wonderful team at Sage, in both the UK and the US, who did so much to ensure the success of this project. We would also like to thank the contributors once again. We should point out that they did not have the opportunity to update their chapters owing to the pressures of the publication deadline. The desire to make the paperback version of the Handbook available as quickly as possible precluded revision. It was more important to make the existing material more readily available than to engage in the lengthy process of overhauling thirty, still very current, chapters.

    Stewart R.CleggCynthiaHardyWalter R.Nord
  • Epilogue: Now That It Has Been Said – What Do We Think?

    The purpose of this epilogue is to make explicit the general message that we hope the careful reader has taken away from the foregoing chapters. The title is derived from Karl Weick's famous question: ‘How can I know what I think until I see what I say?’ (1979: 5). Weick's invitation to retrospective sensemaking provides a highly appropriate frame for this epilogue. Now that leading scholars on the traditional ‘micro’ side of organization studies have said what they deemed appropriate for a chapter in a book intended to summarize recent developments in each of their fields, ‘What are we to think?’

    It should come as no surprise that what we think is similar to what we wrote in the introduction since like many introductions it too was written after the editors (we) had studied the chapters. However, our decision to group the chapters in this volume was based on expectations we held prior to reading the chapters. The contrast between what we thought before reading and after reading the chapters provides the key general message of this epilogue.

    Before going further a brief methodological note may be instructive. The chapters in this book were based on the recent literature on topics that have traditionally been on the so-called ‘micro’ side of the field. Except for three commonalties: (1) the fact that all the authors drew on the recent academic literature; (2) the high intellectual regard the editors have for all of the authors; and (3) the light editorial touches we made on some of the manuscripts when they were submitted, to our knowledge no other coordination among the authors took place. Thus, except for the constraints that the fore-mentioned commonalties may introduce, any common themes across the chapters are primarily due to recent developments in academic understanding in each of the special areas. The most glaring general theme is the breakdown of any previously existing barriers between micro and macro.

    For a long time students of organizations have sought ways to overcome barriers between the micro and macro sides of the field. This quest led many of them to search for overarching frameworks such as general systems theory. To date, none of these frameworks really solved the barriers problem.

    Based on our understanding of what the authors of the chapters in this volume have said, we think the barrier problem is now more likely to dissolve than to be solved. This conclusion is based on material from all of the chapters. We saw strongest support for this trend in Bryman's discussion of leadership. Not only did Bryman suggest that the study of leadership has increasingly shifted to the management of meaning, an approach that places heavy emphasis upon topics often discussed under the heading of a macro topic such as organization culture, but his call in the chapter's overview to link treatments of leadership with such macro perspectives as population ecology and institutional theory pointed in a similar direction.

    A related although weaker trend towards blurring of boundaries also appeared in the literature treated by Tenbrunsel, Galvin, Neale and Bazerman in their study of cognitions in organizations. Although these authors devoted most of their attention to consideration of how behavioural decision theory has changed micro OB, before concluding their chapter they called attention to the fact that recently cognitive concepts have been used to describe behaviour of organizations.

    The blurring trend is even stronger in the related chapter on decision-making by Miller, Hickson and Wilson; the authors began with the assertion that organization decision-making is part of organization theory (a term that traditionally has been almost synonymous with ‘macro’) and throughout the chapter called attention to the fact that much of what we think we know about decision-making could be culture-bound because our information base has been almost exclusively in Western individualistic culture. Clearly a key element of their message was a call for greater awareness of context and understanding of decision-making as an organizational process.

    The blurring of the micro and macro boundary was also apparent in Shulman's chapter on groups, especially in his demonstration of how the contemporary study of groups demands attention to technology, morality, organizational contexts and the understanding that groups are open systems.

    Finally, Nkomo and Cox's chapter on diversity revealed another sort of boundary blurring that is only partially related to the micro/macro division. Since diversity was never a traditional micro topic anyway, this partial relationship might make their position irrelevant to our basic theme of the micro/macro blurring. However, their chapter revealed another way that categories we have previously used to organize our knowledge are becoming inadequate for recent and anticipated future developments. In the context of the micro/macro blurring thesis, Nkomo and Cox's analysis helps us to understand a general way we may respond to the shifting terrain. Specifically, their treatment of identity indicates the value of simultaneously examining process and recognizing the need to treat context.

    This call to study processes in the light of contexts may represent the basic orientation that, taken together, the contributors to this volume seem to be sensing as the wave of the future.

    As the value of the traditional categories wanes, our attention will increasingly, at least in the short run, emphasize the ways that what might once have been thought to be separate entities mutually determine each other. However, the starting point for this trend in previously institutionalized categories means that these traditional divisions are likely to continue to play a role as new categories and theories are developed to treat the processes of mutual determination. In short, the emerging theories about process are likely to be rooted in the categories of the past.

    Then too, it is likely that the processes which are treated will themselves introduce boundaries that separate them from each other. Nevertheless, if we extrapolate the pattern revealed by the foregoing chapters, we now think it is likely that, if not the next Handbook of Organization Studies, some future one will be structured around processes, and the micro-macro division on which the current work rests will have dissolved.

    Weick, Karl (1979) The Social Psychology of Organizing (
    2nd edition
    ). New York: McGraw-Hill.

    • Loading...
Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website