Organizational Transformation for Sustainability: An Integral Metatheory (Routledge Studies in Business Ethics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
During the 21st century organizations will undergo a level of radical and global change that has rarely been seen before. This transformation will come as a result of the environmental, social and economic challenges that now confront organisations in all their activities. But are our understandings and theories of change up to the task of meeting these challenges? Will we be able to develop sustaining visions of how organizations might contribute to the long-term viability of our interdependent global communities? Organizational Transformation for Sustainability: An Integral Metatheory offers some innovative answers to the big questions involved in organizational sustainability and the radical changes that organizations will need to undergo as we move into the third millennium. This new approach comes from the emerging field of integral metatheory.
Edwards shows how a "Big Picture" view of organisational transformation can contribute to our understanding of, and search for, organisational sustainability. There are four key themes to the book: i) the need for integrative metatheories for organisational change; ii) the development of a general research method for building metatheory; iii) the description of an integral metatheory for organisational sustainability; and iv) the discussion of the implications of this metatheory for organisational change and social policy regarding sustainability. This book brings a unique and important orienting perspective to these issues.
research and to researchers, as well as the theory that has arisen from research in a particular field of study. In this defi nition scientific metatheory building consciously and overtly takes other theory as its subject matter. In the words of Willis Overton (2007, p. 154): “Theories and methods refer directly to the empirical world, while metatheories refer to the theories and methods themselves”. Metatheorising of this kind is a scientific enterprise, not a philosophical one. It offers
goal of modernistic science (2001, p. 218): I would suggest that the idea of consilience—the idea of a seamless coherency and of systematic interconnections across culture, mind, and body; across intellectual disciplines; and across units of analysis neatly arranged into decomposable levels of material organization—is far more fictional than factual. But this objectifying kind of grand theorising is not the goal of the integrative pluralism that is pursued here. All conceptual positions, even
the scientific study of organisations and how they change. But the systematic development of overarching metatheory has not been in fashion for many years and little research of this kind has been carried out in studies of organisational Introduction 3 change. The move towards middle-range theory in the social sciences, the postmodern distrust of the “big picture” and the contemporary concern for applied and empirical research have all meant that metatheorising has been neglected as a
(Wilber, 2005c, p. 15) The fi fth element in AQAL is known as types. Types refer to the categorical elements of any typology where those elements “can be present at virtually any stage or state” (Wilber, 2005c, p. 9). Where developmental and evolutionary explanations might be said to take a vertical orientation towards change, type explanations can be represented by horizontal orientations. Other Explanatory Elements in AQAL Metatheory Apart from these five explicitly identified elements of the
variation, selection and retention (evolutionary lens) the organisational system goes through punctuated periods of revolution to appear in new transformed design (deep structure lens). For transformation to occur, the organisational design needs to adapt to both larger environmental and societal changes as well as internal needs for innovation and differentiation (hence, combining the internal–external and alignment lenses). A major weakness in the model is that there is no developmental