Tag Archives: Education

What to read? Classics from economic sociology to management

This new series will list some of the classics (management, organizations, institutionalism, sociology, economic sociology) and useful books that might be included in a phd course or should be read by students to get a good foundation!

Fligstein’s The Architecture of Markets is a must read to understand how markets are built up on sociological foundations. Kathleen Thelen’s book, How Institutions Evolve, is  a very interesting piece on institutional evolution, chapters are taken up and discussed in many PhD courses I know of (for example at Stanford).

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Below are two books on organization theory with different approaches: Stinchcombe’s Information and Organizations and Hannan & Freeman’s Organizational Ecology.

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The next too are dealing with categories and their implications(Bowker & Star’s Sorting Things Out), and the social construction of reality (Berger & Luckmann).

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Not a classic yet, but this book features a good collection of papers on how clusters form and evolve, with examples from hollywood to biotech in Europe, US and China. It also contain papers that analyze how policies influence cluster development.

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(To be continued)

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Filed under Organizations & Sociology

“Bildung” – The Cultural Underpinnings of the Modern Research University

The debate about the future of the university has traditionally been formulated as a dichotomous battle between “idealists”,  or self-protecting groups of “research freedom”-loving academics, who fight under the flag of Humboldtian values, and the “market”-oriented policy makers and reform minded people, who fight with entrepreneurial spirit and Schumpeterian wit.  And of course there are the disruptive innovators, say a Khan Academy, or MOOCs, who provide new ideas, new prospects, but also raise the overall entropy of the already chaotic educational system. In all, never has been the educational scene more turbulent and more diverse. It is both an exciting and a daunting time for those who are at the helm of universities.

I have always loved the middle ground though. I am an ally of innovation and market-oriented participation, yet I think it worth some time to slow down from time to time and explore some of the underlying values and cultural underpinnings.

I have been reading this interesting book on the concept of self-cultivation or ‘bildung’ which can be said to be one of the foundational concepts of the German University, and thus the modern research university (though there are some contending voices whether the ‘role model’ assumption holds).

 

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