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Ontology: philosophical discussions and implications for organization studies

Al-Amoudi, Ismael ORCID: and O'Mahoney, Joseph ORCID: 2015. Ontology: philosophical discussions and implications for organization studies. Greenwood, Michelle, Mir, Raza and Willmott, Hugh, eds. Routledge Companion of Philosophy in Organization Studies, Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting, Routledge, pp. 15-32.

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This chapter discusses the import of philosophical discussions of ontology for organisational studies. It analyses the ontological presuppositions of positivism that still permeate much of sociology and organisational studies. These ontological presuppositions are then discussed from philosophical perspectives that propose or presuppose different ontologies: interpretivism; Heideggerian ontology; negative ontology and realism. The chapter then traces how these philosophical debates are reflected and extended in the field of organisational studies. The following approaches are discussed: positivism, Marxism, critical realism, post-foundational approaches, actor network theory, process perspectives, postcolonial critique, ethnomethodology and symbolic interactionism. We conclude by highlighting promising developments at the intersection of ontology and organisation studies: encouraging multiple methods of enquiry; asking ‘what is’, ‘how did’ and ‘what does it do’ questions; reflecting on ontology’s ethical and political implications; and refining the sensitivity and coherence of future studies of organisations.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780415702867
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:46

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