"Barry and Hansen have gathered an impressive array of contributors to speculate where the management and organization field might be headed. The Handbook offers refreshing and proactive insights that confront our assumptions about organizations and challenge us to expand our thinking and inquiry. It it must reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we look at, live in, and act on organizations."—Thomas G. Cummings, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern CaliforniaTen years ago critical theory and postmodernism were considered new and emerging theories in Business and Management. What will be the next new important theories to shape the field? In one edited volume, David Barry and Hans Hansen have commissioned new chapters that will allow readers to stay one step ahead of the latest thinking. Contributors draw on research and practice to introduce ideas that are considered 'fringe' and controversial today, but may be key theoretical contributions tomorrow. Each chapter sets these ideas in their historical context, lays out the key theoretical positions taken by each new approach and makes it clear why these approaches are different to more mainstream concepts. Throughout contributors refer to existing studies that show how these developing themes will change the Business and Management arena.Researchers, teachers and advanced students who are interested in the future of Business and Management scholarship will want to read this Handbook.
Chapter 33: Toward the Ecological Ideal: Notes for a Complex Understanding of Complex Organizations
Toward the Ecological Ideal: Notes for a Complex Understanding of Complex Organizations
Two important intellectual trends have arisen in organization studies in the past 15 or so years. They are promising and, with the passage of time, I anticipate they will become stronger, since they reflect broader and deeper social and intellectual changes. One is the effort to overcome ‘the Newtonian ideal’ – the mechanistic approaches to organizational phenomena. In its place, an ‘ecological’ view is emerging whose main feature is the acceptance of complexity. The other important trend is the knowledge-based perspective on organizations – the view that organizations are constituted by knowledge (Tsoukas, 2005).
The two trends are inter-connected to some extent. One ...