Organizational Sociology

Authored by: Thomas Diez

Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415657143
eBook ISBN: 9781315725314
Adobe ISBN: 9781317533627


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The importance of politics and of power to the study of organizations cannot be overestimated. In a line of thinkers of enduring relevance to life in bureaucracies, which includes Machiavelli, More, Hobbes, Marx, and Weber, one issue is unquestionably central to their ideas– the nature of power and politics. If power is central to bureaucracies then bureaucracies are central to organization studies (Clegg and Dunkerley 1980). This suggests in turn that interpretive organization studies will have to deal, in one way or another, with the subject matter of mainstream political studies. This chapter seeks to show how interpretive organization studies may be presented as being primarily about political arrangements in social life, particularly within structured bureaucratic forms, even if the terms ‘structure’ and ‘bureaucracy’ are abhorred by those interpretivists who focus much more on what used to be called ‘informal organization’ (Thompson 1956).

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