The Very Idea of Organization

Social Ontology Today: Kantian and Hegelian Reconsiderations


The Very Idea of Organization presents a philosophical account of the phenomenon of organization. It takes as its starting point a debate in organization studies about the foundations of organizational research. This debate, however, is running into difficulties regarding the basic concept of the reality that organization studies deal with, that is regarding the ontology of organization. A convincing organizational ontology is not in sight.

Therefore, Krijnen introduces a new meta-perspective, offering a more comprehensive and more fundamental social ontology in general as well as an organizational ontology in particular. Exploring the Kantian and Hegelian tradition of philosophy, he convincingly shows that a rejuvenated type of German idealism contains intriguing possibilities for developing a present-day social and organizational philosophy.
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Biographical Note

Christian Krijnen, Ph.D. 2001, habilitation 2006, is a Professor of Philosophy at the VU University Amsterdam. In his numerous monographs and articles, including Recognition – German Idealism as an Ongoing Challenge (Brill 2014), Kant, Hegel, neo-Kantianism, and contemporary transcendental philosophy play a major role.

Table of contents

Abbreviations of Works Cited
Short Introduction
1. What is Organization? From Organization Theory to Organizational Ontology
2. Towards an Idealist Social Ontology—Criticisms and Challenges
3. Constructing Social Reality—From Kantian Transcendental Philosophy to a Hegelian Concept of the Social
4. Social Reality as Existence of Freedom—Hegelian versus Kantian Idealism on Actualizing Validity
5. The Very Idea of Organization—Phenomenology Revisited
6. The Very Idea of Organization—A Hegelian Account


Scholars in philosophy, social theorists and practitioners having an interest in the foundations of sociality and organization.


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