Organization Theory and Governance for the 21st Century is a core text for the organization theory course that provides students with both theoretical grounding and practical application. The objective of the text is to expose students to post-traditional theory as well as to “operationalize” theory, showing clearly how it's been applied and with what impact. The book first covers the classical foundations of organization theory, beginning with rationalist approaches and the behavioral revolution, and then delving into the diversity of network theory, chaos and complexity, structural-functionalism, and transaction cost economics. The authors then demonstrate how these theories are operationalized; i.e. how they can be applied to various management and administrative functions, including managing individual behavior, affecting organizational change, understanding and shaping group dynamics, and managing organization/environment relations. The final section introduces students to post-traditional theory, links back to classical foundations, and demonstrates how these theories are being applied in organizations involved in governance. Austin and Parkes also discuss the implications and provide critiques of these theories. Valuable case studies bring the material to life; the authors identify both historical contexts and “current expressions,” or contemporary examples of these theories at work. Reflection questions throughout each chapter, end-of-chapter discussion questions, and bolded key concepts facilitate a deeper understanding of the material and prompt students to extrapolate what they've learned and engage in further analysis.

Escaping the Void: History of Post-Positivism

Escaping the Void: History of Post-Positivism

Escaping the void: History of post-positivism

This chapter presents a brief introduction and overview of the history and heterodox body of thinking that has emerged in the last decades of the twentieth century, a body of work we're describing as post-positivist. Our emphasis is on the appearance and application of these ideas in public and governance organizations. Chapter 9 also connects back to Chapter 1 in demonstrating how elements of the “other voices” identified in the first part of the book can be traced to post-positive theory.

For our purposes, post-positivism should be understood as including postmodern, post-structural, and antifoundational theories. Our approach to introducing the concepts and ideas associated with postmodernism or post-positivism is to describe them as discrete ...

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