The last twenty-five years of the twentieth century was a period of extraordinary change in organizations and the economies of the developed world. This continues today. Such has been the scale and momentum of events that, for some analysts, the only comparable periods are the early part of the twentieth century in which the shift to mass production and large-scale organization was accomplished, or the industrial revolution itself a hundred years earlier. Researchers in Europe and the USA in particular have been studying change in work and organizations, but there has been little attempt to systematize and draw together the results of their work. So far, the emphasis amongst writers on organizations considering the problem of contemporary change has been on ways of conceptualizing events, rather than also considering evidence. But what has actually happened? How much of the flux of events is real change, and how much mere change in emphasis in which apparent change is overlaying organizational continuity? How far are changes in particular events and sectors connected, and is an overall understanding of complex processes possible?
The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization aims to bring together, present and discuss what is currently known about work and organizations and their connection to broader economic change in Europe and America. Issues of conceptualization are not neglected but, in contrast to other comparable volumes, the emphasis is firmly on what is known what and has been observed by researchers. The volume contains a range of theoretically informed essays, written by leading authorities in their respective fields, giving comprehensive coverage of changes in work, occupations, and organizations. It constitutes an invaluable overview of the accumulated understanding of research into work, occupations and organizations in recent decades. It shows that in almost every aspect of economic institutions, change has been considerable. The subject area of work, occupations and organizations is considered in four major sections of the volume: I, Work, Technology, and the Division of Labour; II, Managerial Regimes and Employee Responses; III, Occupations and Organizations; and IV, Organizations and Organized Systems.
In this way the contemporary situation in work and organizations is considered extensively in its different dimensions and interconnections. The contributors have been selected for their expertise and include many leading authors in organizational analysis and substantive research. The handbook is thus an authoritative statement, and offers a valuable account of organizations at this time.
Stephen Ackroyd is Professor of Organizational Analysis, and Head of the Department of Organization, Work, and Technology, at the Lancaster University Management School. He is author of several books on Organization, most recently The Organization of Business (OUP, 2002). He is also a Fellow, and elected member of the Council, of the British Academy of Management, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Rosemary Batt is the Alice H. Cook Professor of Women and Work, New York State School of Industrial and Labour Relations, Cornell University. She has published widely on issues of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.
Paul Thompson is Professor of Organizational Analysis and Vice Dean (Research) at the Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde. He is author of Work Organisations (Palgrave, 3rd edition 2002) with David McHugh, and Organizational Misbehaviour (Sage, 1999) with Stephen Ackroyd. He is also co-organizer of the International Labour Process Conference.
Pamela S. Tolbert is the Professor of Organizational Behaviour, and Chair of the Department of Organizational Behaviour, at the New York State School of Industrial and Labour Relations, Cornell University. Her work on organizations and occupations has been published in a wide array of organization studies and sociology journals, and she is author of Organizations: Structure, Process, and Outcomes (Prentice Hall, 2004) with Richard Hall. She has served onthe eidtorial boards of a number
of journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, Management Science, and Organization Science.