Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis: Elements of the Sociology of Corporate Life, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis

Elements of the Sociology of Corporate Life, 2nd Edition

By Gibson Burrell, Gareth Morgan


432 pages

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Hardback: 9781472462473
pub: 2019-04-14
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Originally published in 1979. A classic in its field, Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis argues that social theory can usefully be conceived in terms of four broad paradigms, based upon different sets of meta-theoretical assumptions with regard to the nature of social science and the nature of society. The four paradigms - Functionalist, Interpretive, Radical Humanist and Radical Structuralist - derive from quite distinct intellectual traditions, and present four mutually exclusive views, which stand in their own right, and generate their own distinctive approach to the analysis of social life. In this revised edition, Burrell and Morgan provide extensive reviews of the four paradigms, tracing the evolution and inter-relationships between the various sociological schools of thought within each. They then proceed to relate theories of organisation to this wider background. This book covers a great range of intellectual territory and makes a number of important contributions to our understanding of sociology and organisational analysis. Since publication it has been an invaluable guide to theorists, researchers and students in a variety of social science disciplines. It stands as a discourse in social theory, drawing upon the general area of organisation studies as a means of illustrating more general sociological themes and provides a framework for appraising future developments in the area of organisational analysis.

Table of Contents

Part I: In Search of a Framework. 1. Assumptions about the Nature of Social Science. 2. Assumptions about the Nature of Society. 3. Two Dimensions: Four Paradigms. Part II: The Paradigms Explored. 4. Functionalist Sociology. 5. Functionalist Organisation Theory. 6. Interpretive Sociology. 7. The Interpretive Paradigm and the Study of Organisations. 8. Radical Humanism. 9. Anti-Organisation Theory. 10. Radical Structuralism. 11. Radical Organisation Theory. Part III: Conclusions. 12. Future Directions: Theory and Research.

About the Authors

Gibson Burrell is Professor of Organisation Theory at Leicester University, UK and was Head of the School of Management from 2002-7. He was elected an Academician for the Social Sciences (AcSS) in 2005. He is the author of Styles of Organizing: The Will to Form, Oxford University Press 2013; The Spaces of Organization and the Organisation of Space: Power, Identity and Materiality at Work (with K Dale ), Palgrave Macmillan, 2007; Pandemonium, Sage, 1997; and Managers and Competition (with G Easton, R Rothschild and C Shearman), Blackwell, 1993. Gareth Morgan is Distinguished Research Professor at York University, Canada. He is the author of Creative Organization Theory: A Resourcebook, Sage, 1989; Images of Organization The Executive Edition, Berrett-Koehler, 1998; and Teamwork: A Blended Learning Resource for Supporting Effective Teamwork (with Jean Adams) Toronto: York University Press, 2009.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General