1st Edition

Organization Theory A Research Overview

By Gibson Burrell Copyright 2022
    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    This shortform book presents an overview of theoretical and empirical work in the field of organization theory. In doing so, it both provides a critical analysis of the state of knowledge in the field and offers recommendations for future directions.

    It is about both thinking differently, and considering what is already known within Organization Theory. With coverage of the foundations of organisation studies, the importance of bureaucracy, and insights into institutional approaches, the book also makes space to consider the key role of alternatives in the development of the field. A panoply of modes of organizing the modern economy and civil society have arisen wherein it is often said that the platform has replaced the pyramid. Yet, in 2022, the pandemic underscores the state’s responsibility to maintain public health through centralized and coherent organization rather than outsourcing, subcontracting and the gig economy. The book offers a new direction for research focusing upon ‘organizational camouflage’, where the unmasking of the large hierarchical corporation’s enduring role in governing our everyday lives would become Organization Theory’s revelatory task.

    Organization Theory: A Research Overview will be of value to researchers, scholars and students in the fields of business and management, especially those interested in the intersection of politics and organizations.

    1. From the Personal to the Political, 2. What is an Organization?, 3. What is Organizing?, 4. What is Organization Theory?, 5. The Age of Camouflage, 6. Organizing Differently: Corruption, Peasants and Indigenous Organizations, 7. Beyond Conventional Organization Theory, 8. The Corporeal and the Corporate: Sites of Contested Ethics


    Gibson Burrell is Professor of Organization Theory at the University of Manchester, UK.

    "If you already think you know what organizing is, think again. Let one of the most creative organization theorists of the last forty years open your mind and enjoy feeling your brain heat up. There is political urgency here too, because if we don't start thinking and doing organization differently then our planet will become too lively for us to live on. Read this book." Martin Parker, Professor of Organization Studies and Lead for the Bristol Inclusive Economy Initiative, Bristol University, UK 

    "In this highly informative, provocative, and passionate book, Gibson Burrell challenges what is presented as organization theory, demanding of us the bravery to examine and question the organizational consequences of the ways in which, and by which, we live. Go on. Challenge yourself!" Barbara Townley, Emeritus Professor, School of Management, University of St Andrews, UK.

    "Never judge a book by its cover. Behind an innocent title, Gibson Burrell shows us why organizational scholars must dissolve the many neo-institutionalist smoke screens that mask the ugly realities of corporate life, and why we must never stop scrutinizing how power is exercised from the inner vestiges of organizations, or exploring what can be done about it. With remarkable wit and edge, this book reminds us why Burrell remains one of the most important voices in business education and critique." Torkild Thanem, Professor of Management & Organization Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden