This volume is a by-product of a running seminar on 'New perspectives on organizations' held at the London Business School between October 1986 and July 1987. This seminar provided a forum for exploring contemporary issues in organizational theory and analysis. The present volume contains not only papers from this seminar, but also others written in the same spirit of enquiry.l

The aim of the volume is to contribute to the debate on the status of organization theory as a discipline2• To accomplish this our authors draw, in the main, upon Kuhn's philosophy of science (Kuhn 1970) in order to identify new paradigms for organization analysis. This task is faced amidst what has been called the 'crisis' phase in organization theory (Benson 1983), a period in which the schismatic tendencies Gouldner predicted for Western sociology (Gouldner 1970) come to impinge upon theory development in organization studies.