Introduction: in search of alternative origins of organizing

Peltonen, Tuomo, Gaggiotti, Hugo, and Case, Peter (2018) Introduction: in search of alternative origins of organizing. In: Peltonen, Tuomo, Gaggiotti, Hugo, and Case, Peter, (eds.) Origins of Organizing. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, x-xxiii.

[img] PDF (Accepted Publisher Version) - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


How might we imagine the origins of organizing? We trust that most readers of this volume will agree that this is a thought provoking and challenging question. Are we to anchor the origins of organizing to specific historical events, to particular philosophical concepts or, rather, should we locate them firmly within familiar (and safe) disciplinary traditions? We take as our point of departure an admixture of all three in this introductory chapter, that is, historical, philosophical and disciplinary origins. From this perspective, perhaps the most dominant idea in the mainstream historiography of management and organization is that systemic organizing started to take hold in the Western hemisphere sometime in the mid-1800’s (Barley & Kunda, 1992; Reed, 2006: Starbuck, 2003). This was the time when the practice of industrial management began to enter the general consciousness of economic life of the time (Bendix, 1974; Guillen, 1994). Indeed, a related convention is to understand theoretical reflection on organizing as appearing in the aftermath of the industrial management approaches pioneered by, inter alia, F.W. Taylor, Henri Fayol and their disciples. Despite the accumulating body of research on the birth of organization theory (e.g. Adler, 2009), there have been astonishingly few contributions that challenge the established consensus of the social and philosophical ideas marking the origin of organizational studies. Typical assessments begin from Taylor, Fayol and Weber, continuing to the works of Mayo, Roethlisberger, Barnard and onwards to the first generation of self-conscious sociologists of organizations (Wren & Bedeian, 2009; Hatch& Cunliffe, 2006). Even when there were attempts to expand this predominantly Western narrative, one could argue that the investigations reoriented their attention only minimally in terms of the temporal (Jacques, 1996) or institutional (Drucker, Kanter & Graham, 1995) focus adopted.

Item ID: 53355
Item Type: Book Chapter (Scholarly Work)
ISBN: 978-1-78536-874-5
Keywords: organization theory, organization studies, organization philosophy, organization history
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 23:24
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page