The Poetic Logic of Administration

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The Poetic Logic of Administration is an investigation of the most important organizational forms of our time, theoretically as well as practically. Central to the presentation are four main trends: the rational bureaucracy, the human network, the harmonious system and the strong culture. The book provides a new and challenging picture of these organizational forms. Difficult to capture in common logical terms, they appear to follow a certain pattern: a ‘poetic logic’. They are, for example, enacted as various literary dramas: comedy, tragedy etc. They are also marked by different conceptions of the world – such as the metaphorical and the ironic – and by different explanatory ideals. Kaj Skoldberg’s book contains a rhetorical analysis of the styles of modern administration and the changes they have undergone. This is a groundbreaking work, offering new interpretations and critical re-evaluations of the individual approaches to organization, including their ‘gurus’ and current importance, within the framework of a highly-original, overarching analysis. No previous book has tried to capture the major forms of organizing, and their dynamics, in terms of their rhetorical master tropes, main narrative genres, and explanatory ideals, and also uses this as an interpretive scheme for understanding individual organizational theories and practices within those main approaches. Examples are given from both the private and the public sectors and various forms of efficiency and effectiveness are also discussed.

Table of contents

Half Title
Full Title
List of Figures
A note on footnotes
1 Introduction
2 Poetics: styles of organizing
3 The tragic power machine of the rational classics
4 Romance with Human Relations
5 The Comedy of the self-regulating system
6 Satire: the contrary culture
7 Da capo: organizing performance
Subject index
Name index

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