Late one afternoon in the fall of 1976, we were sipping Sanka and speculating on the possible directions towards which research and theory in organizational science might lead. One of us had just re-read Walter Nord's Marxist critique of Human Resource Management, and the discussion evolved into an enumeration of the many articles that had appeared in the recent literature attacking the discipline, its mission, and its methods. In no time the list was long enough to suggest that a number of scholars, both young and established, were dissatisfied with the rate of progress begin made in the accumulation of knowledge about organizations. The critics we identified were located at many different schools, and they were associated with diverse research traditions and biases. The causes they identified as underlying the problems they cited varied, as did the solutions they offered. We decided to pursue these polemics with a view to seeking com- monalities among them, hoping that if there were any dominant common themes, it might be possible to anticipate the directions the field could take.
Our reading and thinking led us to the conclusion that many of the issues being raised by the critics of the discipline could be seen as disagreements over some implicit (or ignored) metaphysical and epistemological assumptions about organizations. We hypothesized that much of the controversy resulted from a lack of consensus regarding what organizations are and how knowledge about them can be developed.
1. Toward Middle Range Theory: An Overview and Perspective.- I. What is Middle Range Theory?.- 2. Middle Range Theory and the Strategies of Theory Construction.- 3. Middle Range Theory: An Overview and Assessment for Organizational Research.- 4. Characteristics of Middle Range Organizational Theories and Their Implications for Operationalization and Testing: A Conceptual Analysis with Empirical Illustrations.- 5. Commentary on Gilfillan, Morrow-Muchinsky, and Bluedorn-Evered: The Circle of Inquiry.- 6. Metaphors, Theories, and the Processes of Scientific Inquiry: A Reply to Pondy.- II. Why and How Does Middle Range Theory Develop?.- 7. The Inevitability of Multiple Paradigms and the Resultant Need for Middle Range Analysis in Organization Theory.- 8. Middle Range Theories of Organizational Behavior: Some Implications for the Development of Theory.- 9. Middle Range Theories: Clusters of Clusters of Organizational Phenomenon.- 10. Nomothetical Nets and Higher Order Factor Analysis in Middle Range Theory Development.- 11. On the Potentialities of Middle Range Theory.- 12. Reply to Benson's Comments in "On the Potentialities of Middle Range Theory".- 13. Zen and Science.- III. General Frameworks for Middle Range Theorizing.- 14. Evolution and Middle Range Theories: Toward a Matrix of Organizational Modes.- 15. Organizational Speciation.- 16. The Resurrection of Taxonomy to Aid the Development of Middle Range Theories of Organizational Behavior.- 17. Functionalism as a Base for Midrange Theory in Organizational Behavior/Theory.- 18. Organizational Implications of Exchange Theory: Is It Time for a General Middle Range Theory?.- 19. A Step out from the Middle: Thoughts Stimulated by Papers of McKelvey, Bigelow, Behling, and Larwood.- 20. A Rejoinder to Nord.- 21. Some Other Parts of Exchange Theory.- IV. Examples Of Middle Range Theory.- 22. Middle Range Organization Theorizing: Role Theory as an Example.- 23. Limited Domain Theories of Organizational Energy.- 24. Relationships between Modes of Social Interaction.- 25. The Applicability of Middle Range Theories to the Study of Organizational Effectiveness.- 26. On Research in Organizational Socialization: The Case for Middle Range Theory.- 27. Examples of Middle Range Theory: Discussion.- 28. A Rationale for the Limited Domain Approach to the Study of Motivation.- V. Counterpoints and Alternatives.- 29. Theory Development in Organization Behavior: A Systems' Perspective.- 30. Having One's Cake and Eating It Too: Middle Range Content and Generalized Process as Ways of Understanding Organization.- 31. Discussion of "Theory Development in Organization Behavior" by Cooper and Wolf and "Having One's Cake and Eating It Too" by Frost and Hayes.- 32. A Piece of Cake: A Response to McKelvey.- VI. Contemplative Panel Discussion.- 33. Exploring Big Fierce Theories.- 34. Middle Range Themes in Organizational Theorizing.- 35. Science as a Social Reality.
Number Of Pages: 413
Published: 29th February 1980
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 1.73