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Postmodernism and Postmodernity in Organization Analysis

Linda Rouleau (HEC, Montreal, Canada)
Stewart R. Clegg (University of St Andrews, Scotland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 January 1992



Draws a distinction, via the edited text of an interview, between a sociology of postmodernity and postmodernism: the latter has an emphasis on theory and its intertextuality while the former would focus more evidently on discontinuities in the empirical world which serve to mark a difference from the ways in which that world has been appropriated and appreciated through a more modernist perspective. For organization theory the difference is articulated in particular by the awareness that there are now counter‐factuals available to challenge some predominant assumptions about the way in which organization occurs. The assumptions have a predominantly “Western” basis; some elements of the challenge come from an increasing knowledge of the specificities of Asian practice. A crucial axis for comparison between relevant tendencies towards “modernism” and “postmodernism” is that of “differentiation”. Proposes that modernist tendencies are towards the increase of differentiation, postmodern towards the increase of de‐differentiation – the throwing into reverse of the tendency towards differentiation. Considers contrasting models of what a postmodern, de‐differentiated future might look like in terms of their democratic potential.



Rouleau, L. and Clegg, S.R. (1992), "Postmodernism and Postmodernity in Organization Analysis", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 8-25.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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