Puritans, visionaries and survivors

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Organization Studies, 2005, 26 (4), pp. 527 - 545
Issue Date:
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All readings take place in the here-and-now, even of texts written back there and then. Nowhere in management and organization theory has this been truer of anyone than Max Weber. Unread in English during his lifetime, it was nearly 30 years after his death before his ideas had much impact. When they did, they were read in a context and tradition years away from those in which they were conceived. And, ever since, they have been subject to systematic reinterpretation on the one hand and neglect on the other. The paper addresses how one might use Weber today, in terms of his sensitivity to current issues, such as sustainability, as well as the still largely unacknowledged foundation that Weber constructed for contemporary cultural studies. The paper will bring these two themes together, using analysis of contemporary equivalents to the popular culture that formed the basis for some of Weber's own investigations. Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications.
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