The Sociology of Organizations

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The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Sociology, 2012, 1, pp. 164 - 181
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The sociology of organizations is very largely a post-Second World War American invention but it built, initially, on Max Weber's work as it was translated in the post-war era . At the outset the sociological classics were a potent source of inspiration, especially Weber: today that is no longer the case (Adler 2009: 5). The critical function of the classics as being a signifier for disparate world views that encapsulate deep and compelling insights into the human condition has been largely abandoned (Alexander 1987). One refreshing sign of the times, however, is the recent publication of The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies, edited by Paul Adler, in 2009. The usual candidates, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, are considered, as well as many others (some of whom might have been surprised to be called sociologists).
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