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Revisiting Social Space: Relational Thinking about Organizational Change

Research in Organizational Change and Development

ISBN: 978-1-78052-022-3, eISBN: 978-1-78052-023-0

ISSN: 0897-3016

Publication date: 17 July 2011

Abstract

This chapter revisits social space and field theory, constructs foundational to the work of Kurt Lewin but largely abandoned by his followers. It describes the “mystification” surrounding these concepts in the work of Lewin and the sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu. It then attempts to demystify social space and field theory by looking at their roots in the idea of “relational thinking” – an idea set forth by the philosopher Ernst Cassirer, who had a powerful influence on both Lewin and Bourdieu. Finally, it suggests how these concepts can generate innovative thinking about organizational change and development.

Citation

Friedman, V.J. (2011), "Revisiting Social Space: Relational Thinking about Organizational Change", (Rami) Shani, A.B., Woodman, R.W. and Pasmore, W.A. (Ed.) Research in Organizational Change and Development (Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 233-257. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0897-3016(2011)0000019010

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited