Christopher K. Ansell

in Pragmatist Democracy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199772438
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918997 | DOI:

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This chapter builds on the work of Mary Parker Follett and Philip Selznick to anchor a tradition of Pragmatist organizational theory. In contrast with Max Weber’s image of bureaucracy, Follett and Selznick reject the dualism of formal versus informal organization. Doing this allows them to imagine a different relationship between central control and decentralized discretion in organizations. Selznick’s perspective on “responsive organizations” supports a problem-solving perspective on organizations and an emphasis on developing the competency and character of organizational communities.

Keywords: pragmatism; Mary Parker Follett; Philip Selznick; organization theory; informal organization; centralization; decentralization

Chapter.  8525 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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