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In Praise of Duality and Dualism: Rethinking Agency and Structure in Organizational Analysis

In Praise of Duality and Dualism: Rethinking Agency and Structure in Organizational Analysis This paper develops a critique of a number of highly influential theoretical interventions in contemporary organizational analysis that have collapsed structure into agency. It suggests that these approaches, which draw, in various ways, on the 'postmodern turn' in organizational analysis, have seriously weakened the explanatory power and political imagination of the latter. In direct contrast to theoretical approaches based on flat or compacted social onto logies, the paper supports a critical realist position as providing a layered or stratified social ontology on which a more structurally robust and inclusive explanations of organizational phenomena can be constructed. By adopting a realist ontology and methodology, organizational analysis will be much better placed to understand and explain the interplay between structure and agency, and its 'fateful' consequences for social actors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societies SAGE

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References (71)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0170-8406
eISSN
1741-3044
DOI
10.1177/017084069701800103
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper develops a critique of a number of highly influential theoretical interventions in contemporary organizational analysis that have collapsed structure into agency. It suggests that these approaches, which draw, in various ways, on the 'postmodern turn' in organizational analysis, have seriously weakened the explanatory power and political imagination of the latter. In direct contrast to theoretical approaches based on flat or compacted social onto logies, the paper supports a critical realist position as providing a layered or stratified social ontology on which a more structurally robust and inclusive explanations of organizational phenomena can be constructed. By adopting a realist ontology and methodology, organizational analysis will be much better placed to understand and explain the interplay between structure and agency, and its 'fateful' consequences for social actors.

Journal

Organization Studies: An international multidisciplinary journal devoted to the Studies of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societiesSAGE

Published: Jan 1, 1997

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