Emerging during the late nineteenth century in the diverse scholarship of US commentators such as Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewey, American pragmatism shaped many intellectual currents within a range of disciplines including politics, education, administrative science and religion. Despite attracting attention and interest due to its conceptualization of theory, in terms of its practical consequences for improving the human condition, American pragmatism struggled to maintain its influence and suffered a hiatus until it experienced a renaissance within scholarly circles during the 1970s. While renewed interest in American pragmatism continues to grow, with some scholars distinguishing between classical, neo and new forms of pragmatism, it is only relatively recently that organization studies scholars have drawn upon American pragmatist philosophies for shedding new light on aspects of contemporary organizational life. This edited collection builds on this emergent literature in an engaging and scholarly manner. American Pragmatism and Organization is a ground-breaking collection and distinctive in its book-length treatment of American pragmatism as a relevant resource for analysing organisations. It draws together an international body of research focused on the interconnections and interplay between American pragmatism and organizational phenomena, explores the theoretical possibilities afforded by pragmatist thinking for understanding organization, and illuminates the practical advantages of doing so.
Dr Mihaela Kelemen is Professor of Management Studies at Keele University in the UK. Her current research, sponsored by three AHRC grants, is underpinned by an American pragmatist methodology, it aims to challenge the dualistic divide between academic knowledge and community practices. In particular, her research explores untold stories of volunteering and hidden community assets. Dr Nick Rumens is Reader in Management and Organization at the University of Bristol. His principal research interests include sexualities in organisation, workplace friendships and methodologies for doing critical management research. Published widely in a range of monographs, edited books and scholarly journals, Nick draws on a mix of American pragmatist and queer theories to inform his research. He is currently researching intersections between gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans sexualities, genders and ageing in the workplace. He has worked in senior human resource management roles in the National Health Service.
’A hallmark of pragmatism is its drive to transcend unproductive dualisms. Kelemen and Rumens, and their collaborators, have provided an important collection that contributes to the wide revival of pragmatist approaches now underway. They demonstrate that organizational research founded in pragmatist principles can overcome divisions between approaches stressing objective measurement and those emphasizing interpretation or construction, and can produce results that are both scientifically warranted and socially productive.’ Michael D. Cohen, School of Information, University of Michigan, US ’This fascinating book provides a refreshing and stimulating return to the analysis of pragmatism and neo-pragmatism in the social sciences. It assesses the work of key figures associated with the movement and expands this investigation to consider issues of current intellectual concern to scholars of economics, institutions and organisations. The various contributors offer perspectives that are at once original, critical and reflexive. Simply a must for anyone interested in the contemporary analysis of pragmatism.’ John Hassard, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK ’It is a well-crafted work that provides a rich and skilful account of classic American pragmatist thought, its main concepts and issues. Further, it is useful as a heuristic device (there is nothing disparaging in that, on the contrary it is a pragmatist virtue) and is indeed an encouraging book to read.’ Scandinavian Journal of Management, vol. 30, no. 3