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INTRODUCTION

A SOCIAL SCIENCE WHICH FORGEST ITS FOUNDERS IS LOT

Organizations have deep and pervasive effects on our lives at work and beyond. The previous century witnessed a massive transformation of advanced capitalist societies: whereas families and neighborhoods once constituted the basis of society, now large organizations play a pivotal role in every sphere. And the most recentdecades have witnessed further, equally profound and disconcerting changes in this landscape. The aim of the present volume is to help scholars in organization studies better understand these changes. In particular, we highlight the enduring value of some of the older work in this field.
The field of organization studies has become well established in both sociology departments and professionalschools, most notably in business schools. However, in the course of this institutionalization, the field has progressively lost contact with its founding writers. To some, this represents a welcome sign of maturation: they might quote Alfred North Whitehead: “A science which hesitates of forget its founder is lot”. Whitehead, however, was writing about the natural science, and the premise of thisvolume is that the social sciences are in this specific respect quite different, because in our field founders continue to play a crucial role. We have thus reversed Whitehead´s warning as the clarion call for this volume.
Without minimizing the potential contribution of more recent scholarship or the value of earlier scholarship that has been less celebrated, we believe that these classics presentunusually rich resources for research today. Most notably, these writers all struggled to make sense of the momentous social changes of their times. In contrast, organization studies today focuses too little on the big issues of our own times and too much in the narrower concerns of academic peers. The classics, this volume argues, serve both as a source of specific insights and also asencouragement to lift and broaden our aspirations.
Alongside some thematic chapters, this volume includes contributions on each of several classic authors. Each chapter addresses the author´s ideas and his or her context, the impact of these ideas might inspire. The goal is not reverential exegesis, but rather to examine how these classics can enrich an enliven organizational research-how they can help usmake better sense of the social changes currently under way, and perhaps equip us to act more intelligently in our efforts to participate in those changes.
This Introduction first explains why organization studies should reconnect with these classics, and then provides a thumbnail sketch of each of the contributions to Handbook.

WHY READ THE CALSSICS?
Organization studies is aninterdisciplinary field, bringing together sociology, psychology, economics, political science, as well as other disciplines. The present volume focuses on sociology. Sociology was foundational in shaping the field in its earliest years and has continued to be an important influence. The sociological lens affords unusual depth of insight into the technological, economic, cultural, and political forces that shapeorganizations both from within and without.
Notwithstanding its interdisciplinary constitution, organization studies suffers from increasing intellectual insularity. Research in organization studies suffers from increasingly to the field´s own journals and less and less to journals in sociology or the other contributing disciplines. Organization studies is increasingly cut off not only fromcontemporary sociological research but also from sociology´s classics. Statistical analysis of the works cited in articles published in the major journals of sociology and organization studies shows that, on the one hand, the absolute number of citations of the classics (specifically, those classic authors addressed in this volume, taken as group) has continued at much the same level since the 1950....
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