Social Philosophy, Communities, and the Epistemic Shifts

Social Philosophy, Communities, and the Epistemic Shifts

Angela Lacerda Nobre
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-933-5.ch259
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It is critical to distinguish between mainstream traditional management theory and the myriad of complementary approaches that have contributed to the development of alternative approaches to organisational and management theory. The dominant stream of management theory is still largely influenced by the command and control paradigm developed over a century ago by early theorists such as Weber, Taylor, and Fayol. Though the control paradigm today is closely connected to a technocratic and functionalistic perspective of management science, there is a growing awareness of the dangers of assuming a reductive and limited view of organisational complexity. In other words, it is important to recognise the role of bureaucratic, functional, and procedural-like aspects of organisational life, though it is critical to complement these perspectives with richer and more human-centred interpretations of organisational reality. This critical role is performed by, among others, communities of practice theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1999; Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002; Brown & Duguid, 1991). In order to better understand the developments in terms of management thinking, it is relevant to revise the sequence of the different schools of thought that influenced the social sciences throughout the 20th century.

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