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A Process Theory of Organization


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Table of Contents

1: IntroductionPart I. Some problems of organization theory, and the potential of process organization theory2: Why assumptions in organization theory do not work for organizing in a world on the move3: Assumptions for organizing in a world on the movePart II. Towards a process theory of organization4: Temporality and process5: Organization, meaning structures, and time6: Articulatory modes and agencyPart III. Process theory and selected aspects of organization and management7: Organizational continuity and change8: Managing and leading in time9: Culture, identity and institutions10: Some thoughts on studying process11: A plea for mysteryAnnex 1. The theoretical framework in brief and an explanatory cartoon

About the Author

Tor Hernes is Professor of Organization Theory at Copenhagen Business School and Vestfold University College, Norway, where he teaches and carries out research on process thinking and organization. He has published a dozen books as well as process related articles in top tier European and American journals. He is a leading figure in the emerging field of process thinking in organization studies. He is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies and co-chair of the EGOS Standing Working Group on process thinking and organization.


The remarkable insights offered in this book provide a language and a style of analysis that help us move from process and reality to process as reality. Tor Hernes has captured the elusiveness of organizing in motion in a way that is unmatched. This book is a major accomplishment that enables all of us to be more observant and more skillful analysts who can now ask better questions about fleeting structures in an on-going present. * Karl Weick, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan *
The time of structures is gone, but much of organization theory - and practice - holds compulsively to it. Tor Hernes' book will help theoreticians and practitioners to let go - and enter the world where fluid processes cross through the global economy. * Barbara Czarniawska, GRI, School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. *
This book is a refreshingly bold attempt to provide a genuinely alternative approach to the study and analysis of organization as precarious and temporary accomplishments; time and temporality feature significantly in its theoretical agenda. Hernes takes a step back and attempts to theorize organization on the basis that process itself is constitutive of reality. Hernes is to be complemented for undertaking such an ambitious endeavour in making us aware of the consequences of taking process and becoming seriously. * Robert Chia, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow *
A world on the move and how to catch it without making it static; this is the big challenge that the book addresses. The author offers a great introduction to a process theory of organization since it makes evident how temporality is at the heart of organizational life, and how it should be studied. * Silvia Gherardi, Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Trento University *

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