Situating organizational action: the relational sociology of organizations

Article English OPEN
Mutch, A ; Delbridge, R ; Ventresca, M (2006)

This paper advances a relational sociology of organization that seeks to address concerns over how organizational action is understood and situated. The approach outlined here is one which takes ontology seriously and requires transparency and consistency of position. It aims at causal explanation over description and/or prediction and seeks to avoid pure voluntarism or structural determinism in such explanation. We advocate relational analysis that recognizes and engages with connections within and across organization and with wider contexts. We develop this argument by briefly reviewing three promising approaches: relational pragmatism, the social theorizing of Bourdieu and critical realism, highlighting their ontological foundations, some similarities and differences and surfacing some methodological issues. Our purpose is to encourage analysis that explores the connections within and between perspectives and theoretical positions. We conclude that the development of the field of organization theory will benefit from self conscious and reflexive engagement and debate both within and across our various research positions and traditions only if such debates are conducted on the basis of holistic evaluations and interpretations that recognize (and value) difference.
  • References (21)
    21 references, page 1 of 3

    Aldrich, H. (1992) 'Incommensuable paradigms? Vital signs from three perspectives', in M. Reed and M. Hughes (eds.), Rethinking Organization, London: Sage, 17-45.

    Archer, M. (1979) Social Origins of Educational Systems, London: Sage.

    Archer, M. (1995) Realist Social Theory: the morphogenetic approach, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Archer, M. (1996) Culture and Agency: the place of culture in social theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Archer, M. (2003) Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Barley, S. and Tolbert, P. (1997) 'Institutionalization and structuration: studying the links between action and institution', Organization Studies, 18(1) 93-117. of organizations', in R. Westwood and S. Clegg (Eds.) Debating POrganization, Bhaskar, R. (1979) The Possibility of Naturalism, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester.

    Boal, K. B., Hunt, J. G. and Jaros, S. J. (2003) 'Order is free: on the ontological status Oxford: Blackwell, 84-97. - t

    Bourdieu, P. (1990) The Logic of Practice, Cambridge: Polity.

    Contu, A. and Willmott, H. (2005) sspin 'You me round: The realist turn in Collier, A. (1994) Critical Realism: an introduction to the philosophy of Roy Bhaskar, London: Verso.

    1645-1662. o organization and management studies', Journal of Management Studies, 42(8), Delbridge, R., and Ezzamel, M. (2005) 'The strength of difference: Contemporary conceptions of control', Organization, 12(5), 603-618.

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Institutional Repository - IRUS-UK 0 208
Share - Bookmark