Panoptic reason and the search for totality : a critical assessment of the critical systems perspective
Tsoukas, Haridimos. (1992) Panoptic reason and the search for totality : a critical assessment of the critical systems perspective. Human Relations, 45 (7). pp. 637-657. ISSN 0018-7267Full text not available from this repository.
This paper reviews the main claims and assumptions of the critical systems perspective (CSP) and subjects them to vigorous criticism. It is argued that CSP is flawed on philosophical and sociological grounds. Philosophically, CSP is criticized for its use of ideological premises which are unsusceptible to scientific criticism, for its unrealistic assumptions concerning the alleged unitary nature of organizations and society, for an essentialist conception of human beings, and for its inability to distinguish between different types of systems research. Sociologically, CSP's inadequate conceptualization of power in organizations is discussed. CSP also espouses an apolitical conception of organizational actors, and fails to appreciate the inherently open nature of social systems which is manifested mainly through the emergence of unintended consequences. It is argued here that all the above deficiencies emanate from two fundamental premises: the panoptic status CSP accords to reason, and the totalizing nature of CSP's discourse. Both premises are criticized in this paper as indefensible.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Human Relations|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Official Date:||July 1992|
|Number of Pages:||21|
|Page Range:||pp. 637-657|
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