This article notes the growing attractiveness of concepts “borrowed” from chaos theory in organizational studies. Many of these interpretations display sentiments broadly congruent with a “postmodern” approach to organization. Indeed chaos theory itself is presented as part of a similar postmodern shift within natural science. However, these sentiments have been subject to stinging criticism by scientists. Here, the deterministic underpinning of chaos theory is used to show that chaos theory is an entirely modernist enterprise. In this case the indeterministic messages taken by organizational theorists are something of a misunderstanding. Consequently, I discuss whether this is enough to threaten the interdisciplinary status of chaos theory, particularly when it is used in a self-consciously ‘metaphorical’ fashion.
Lyotard's work on postmodern knowledge has been influential on our thinking of paradigms, meta‐narratives, legitimation, and contemporary trends in the information economy. These issues are discussed, criticisms of his work examined, and implications for information professionals explored.
Begins with a brief overview of how public administration emerged as the positivist theory and technocratic practice of the modern administrative state. The question then…
Begins with a brief overview of how public administration emerged as the positivist theory and technocratic practice of the modern administrative state. The question then becomes: To what extent has public administration been affected by the societal shift toward postmodernism? The author argues that public administration has moved some distance away from its positivist origins; however, the transformation of public administration is still incomplete. The author concludes that public administration should pay more attention to the recent developments of post‐positivist methods of analysis rather than attempting to adopt all the tenets of postmodernism. Large bureaucratic organizations remain typically modern, but they should not be either conceptualized or managed as small machines.
This article looks at the problems Sociology has in theorising modern discourses in the light of the rise and consolidation of Postmodernism. The paper begins with an historical sketch of the emergence of Enlightenment and how its values helped to engender intellectual curiosity amongst the precursors of modernist sociological theorising. Indeed, the paper analyses how Sociology faces up to enlightenment thought and legacy via a critical analysis of the modern‐postmodern debate: its historiography, pathologies, and futurology. At the same time, there has been a huge escalation of neo‐Nietzschean theorists under the label of ‘postmodernist’ who have castigated the enlightenment to the dustbin of the history of ideas, that its metanarratives of ‘progress’ and ‘freedom’ have failed and that western rationality is exhausted (Lyotard, 1984). Subsequently, the paper assesses to what extent the values of the ‘project of modernity’ have to be abandoned, and whether, in turn, sociology can offer the epistemic stretching of postmodern narratives.
The growing public anxiety towards the end of the twentieth century that men were “in crisis” was articulated in popular-cultural texts. The purpose of this paper is to…
The growing public anxiety towards the end of the twentieth century that men were “in crisis” was articulated in popular-cultural texts. The purpose of this paper is to examine the TV family sitcom Modern Family, in order to explore the ways that it constructs the masculine post-9/11.
The approach used is that of cultural studies, a field which draws together theorisation and analytical methods from a variety of disciplines.
Despite the variety of family structures represented in the series Modern Family, its narratives continue to foster traditional notions of patriarchal power. However, the presence of alternate versions of “family” and “masculinity” suggests an awareness of other possibilities.
This paper may model to its readers a way of approaching and analysing other popular-cultural texts for their representations of masculinity.
An understanding of the dynamics of masculinity and its alternative forms of masculinity may be likely to have a material impact in the social sphere.
By drawing together theory and analytical approaches from a variety of relevant disciplines, the paper demonstrates that, in the wake of the events of 9/11, there are twin impulses simultaneously to adhere to a familiar, dominant notion of masculinity, yet to propose alternate forms of the masculine.
The purpose of this paper is to consider the national and international political-economic environment in which Australian university research grew. It considers the…
The purpose of this paper is to consider the national and international political-economic environment in which Australian university research grew. It considers the implications of the growing significance of knowledge to the government and capital, looking past institutional developments to also historicise the systems that fed and were fed by the universities.
The paper is based on the extensive archival research in the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial on the formation and funding of a wide range of research programmes in the immediate post-war period after the Second World War. These include the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, the NHMRC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Pacific Territories Research Council, the Commonwealth Office of Education, the Universities Commission and the Murray review. This research was conducted under the Margaret George Award for emerging scholars for a project entitled “Knowledge, Nation and Democracy in Post-War Australia”.
After the Second World War, the Australian Government invested heavily in research: funding that continued to expand in subsequent decades. In the USA, similar government expenditure affected the trajectory of capitalist democracy for the remainder of the twentieth century, leading to a “military-industrial complex”. The outcome in Australia looked quite different, though still connected to the structure and character of Australian political economics.
The discussion of the spectacular growth of universities after the Second World War ordinarily rests on the growth in enrolments. This paper draws on a very large literature review as well as primary research to offer new insights into the connections between research and post-war political and economic development, which also explain university growth.
Jim Jarmusch’s feature film Dead Man, apparently a Western, exceeds the genre’s traditional boundaries and shows ambivalence, unclear roles in an environment existing between the times of the nation’s founding and the success of civilisation. It shows a world in transformation where change is happening, not managed. The film is a provocation for adherents to traditional Western movies. But a closer look at this world offers a surprising insight into a dynamic involved in change processes that also occur after mergers or take‐overs in contemporary business organisations. The charm in using the film as a metaphor is at least two‐fold. The interpretation with the help of Lyotard and Baudrillard shows a double edged dynamic where the successful new owner after a take‐over is not necessarily in charge of the game. Beyond that the use of a movie from outside the mainstream offers a non‐mainstream argument inside the core of a mainstream management topic.