Philosophy of Management

Volume 11, Issue 2, 2012

Representations and Representing

Miriam Green
Pages 85-113

Can Deconstructing Paradigms Be Used as a Method For Deconstructing Texts?

Problems surrounding representations of texts have previously been raised and discussed, as has the difficulty, in the light of hermeneutic, critical and post-structuralist writers, of arriving at definitive meanings of texts. This paper is part of ongoing research into the problem of evaluating the representation of original texts in the organisation/management area. The texts in question are Burns and Stalker’s The Management of Innovation 1961, 1966, and to a lesser degree Lawrence and Lorsch’s Organization and Environment 1967. The representations are those in three widely used textbooks typical of many, and applications in management accounting research. A way round this apparent impasse may be to see whether there are any ‘objective’ or commonly accepted standards and criteria within a particular system of thought, assuming that the texts in question are all located within the same system. These texts will be explored in terms of the paradigmatic boundaries they encompass to see whether the same kinds of problems and solutions are presented, and whether they ultimately lie within the same boundaries. Finally, having argued that they are largely located in different paradigms, the underlying question is raised as to whether one paradigm can be an adequate vehicle for the transmission of a text substantially in another.