Possibilities of Democtratisation in Organisations

J. van Diest

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Abstract

In the reflection on organisations there is a tradition that focuses on the dimensions of power within organisations. Generally in that tradition, organisations are interpreted as complex unities of individuals and coalitions who try to influence the functioning of organisations with a view to their values and interests. This tradition presents itself in opposition to mainstream thinking about organisations in which they are interpreted as technical systems for making profits through efficient ways of production. This dichotomy of tradition reflects more or less Habermas's dichotomy of communicative and instrumental reason. In this article I develop a perspective that goes beyond this dichotomy. I try to show by means of a critical analysis of organisations from a "technological" perspective that organisations are necessarily open to democratic actions. This can be considered as an unforeseen application or example of the Habermasian communicative reason.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-117
JournalSocial Epistemology
Volume2008
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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