Designing Technology, Work, Organizations and Vice Versa

Edited by Enrico Attila Bruni, University of Trento, Italy et al.

September 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-028-5
Availability: In stock
$55 £45 €50

The concept of design has been defined in a multitude of ways and used in a variety of academic fields, ranging from the classics of organizational and system design to studies on corporate culture, aesthetics and consumption. However, in mainstream organization and management studies, the concept of design has been ‘black-boxed’ and easily implied as an updated (and more fashionable) version of the traditional idea of structuring organizational processes. At the same time, working and organizing seem to be embedded nowadays in increasingly complex and situated technologies and practices. If the spreading of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has changed workplaces (and even the very meaning of 'workplace' as an area marked by the physical presence of different human actors), working and organizing mobilizes the joint action of humans, technologies and knowledges. The aim of the book is thus to discuss the relations among technologies, work and organisations from multiple theoretical perspectives and to engage with questions about design as well as the sociomaterial foundations of working and organising. The book focuses on the close study of practices and processes that inextricably link work and organisation to the use of artefacts and technological systems (and vice versa), exploring by means of different cases of organizational and design research articulations and disarticulations of daily work and design; the doing of objects and technologies in everyday organizational life; the reconstruction of organizational processes through technological and design practices; the relation between learning, innovations and technologies in organizational settings. The book is addressed to graduate students, PhDs, scholars and researchers interested in the fields of Organization Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology and Design, as well as to professionals and practitioners interested in new methodological approaches towards the relations between technology, work and organization.

The Distinction of Human Being

An Introduction to the Logotectonic Method of Conception

Thomas Kruger Caplan, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, Germany

July 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-022-3
Availability: In stock
$85 £66 €74

Perhaps we are never done with thought, nor should be. If this is indeed the case, then Kant may have been right after all in supposing that folks will never lose interest in metaphysics, in thought thinking thought. But what of academics? Where would we find these days a comprehensive treatment of pure reason, of the epochs of its origins and accomplishments, that is not just another collection of interpretations of “source” texts in translation? This study introduces philosophy students and professionals to the “logotectonic” method of conception as developed by Heribert Boeder, a pupil of Martin Heidegger, which is broadly structuralist in its approach but endeavors to make evident how the principles of rationality governing the Occidental tradition of λóγος (logos) – even those dictated by the animus of our post/modern world of thought in opposition to it – are, in fact, founded upon the “nature” of pure reason itself, the intellect, the discipline, and the art of which can be understood as constituting a unique “language” containing a vocabulary of distinguished terms, a syntax that determines their ratios, and rules of inference with which these terms of principle, insight, and issue are built into trains of thought about thought, every thought. As a result, the wisdom of the Muses (Homer, Hesiod, Solon), of the Holy Spirit (the Synoptic Narratives of Mark, Luke, and Matthew, the Apostolic Letters of Paul, the Gospel of John), and of Humanity (Rousseau, Schiller, Hölderlin) can be seen to have thrice articulated, in their own terms, a moving vision of our experience with the distinction of human being, inspiring critical reflection to consider the λóγος as a destiny with regards to which even we, as the thinkers, the doers, and the builders of today, are still learning what it means to make a difference. ‘The Distinction of Human Being’ offers contemporary thinkers, beginners as well as professionals, a comprehensive reading of the origin and the tradition of metaphysics encompassing the life and times of pure reason as it unfolds across its theoretical, practical, and poetic endeavor the last of which suggests what a philological philosophy might entail and demand of a new generation of friends of wisdom.

The Rig-Vedic and Post-Rig-Vedic Polity (1500 BCE-500 BCE)

R.U.S. Prasad, Harvard University

July 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-026-1
Availability: In stock
$50 £38 €44

The book critically examines and assesses the literary evidence available through Vedic and allied literature portraying the nature of Vedic polity, the functionalities of its various institutions, and the various social and religious practices. The book is not a narrative but critically examines the nature of changes in a host of these areas that occurred at each stage of Vedic polity from early Vedic period to post Ṛig-Vedic period. It outlines in historical perspective the various stages involved in the development of Vedic polity and Vedic canon and how the two processes have gone along together. It contains extensive discussions on political system and institutions, religious and social practices as they obtained during the Rig-Vedic and post Rig-Vedic periods. It provides a fresh approach to the cult of sacrifice and fire rituals practiced by Vedic Aryans along with an in-depth analysis of the Vedic view of Nationalism, Sovereignty and State as discernible from Vedic texts .The book also features an extensive discussion on the institution of kingship, administrative machinery, role of various entities in the polity including the Purohita, the Sabha and the Samiti, position of women, Varna system and features of tribal kingdoms, such as the Kuru-Panchalas and Kosala-Videhas. Isolating political and social aspects from the essentially religious character of Vedic literature, an attempt has been made to show with due corroboration that the tribal polity was not deficient in political content contrary to the stance of some scholars to depict Vedic Aryans as apolitical and inward looking. The present book partakes both the current and previous scholarship on the subject but breaks a new path with its exclusive focus on the Rig-Vedic and Post Rig-Vedic polity, together with a balanced and objective assessment of their features. It brings all the relevant and connected issues on to one platform, and deals with them in a holistic manner. Its unique features include: • The “Vedic Grid”: a graphical representation and tabulations of the characteristics of each of the about 50 Vedic tribes, including information on the location of their habitat, their time line, the names of their chieftains and their linkage with priestly clans. • A special focus on the Second Urbanization taking place in the Gangetic valley between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. It explains how towards the end of the later Vedic period, the polity underwent a change in political, social and economic spheres which blossomed later during the period of Mauryas. • Two appendices dealing with the theories of Aryan migration and the relationship of the Vedic Aryans with the Harappa culture and what can be ascertained by Vedic literature.

Titans of the Forests

The Economic Evolution of the Human Species and that of Our Cultures

Gregory V. Short

June 2015 / ISBN: 9781622730278
Availability: In stock
$45 £32 €38

Instead of dwelling on the biological, physiological, or even the genetic aspects of our evolution, “Titans of the Forests” takes a completely different approach, which could be referred to as the unchartered and neglected field of macroevolution. Uniquely captivating, controversial, and very readable, it is the author’s contention that we as a species were continuously forced to change our way of obtaining nourishment, or rather our various economies, in order to adapt to the ever-changing world. And as a result of this economic adaptation, our species would then and only then begin to slowly change into the modern humans of today. For much too long, the world’s scientific community has directed the discussion of our incredible evolution. As a matter of fact, our species’ biological, physiological, psychological, and cultural evolution has been instigated, propelled, and shaped by our economic adaptation to a fluctuating environment. In a very real sense, the scientists are so far into the trees that they have actually ignored the forest. Consequently, we teach human evolution as a hodgepodge of different theories within the realm of microevolution, thus failing to understand or even to recognize the economic thread that binds them altogether. By integrating the timeline of our prehistoric past with that of our earliest known economies (food gathering, scavenging, and nomadism), the author was able to synthesize a sequence of events that illustrates the economic basis of our remarkable ascension and the beginnings of our present day institutions. He not only reveals the genesis behind the cultural forces that exist within every human society, but for the first time, he has created a systematic and holistic approach in explaining the “how” and the “why” we have economically, physiologically, and then culturally evolved. For unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, we have possessed the extraordinary ability to change our economy, which has made us an extremely adaptable species.

Economic Growth

How it works and how it transformed the world

Edward A. Hudson

January 2015 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-021-6
Availability: In stock
$80 £55 €70

How does economic growth work? Beginning with the history of leading countries over the past 2000 years, Economic Growth finds which countries have achieved sustained growth and how they did it. The effects of growth are examined on a human scale. The benefits of growth are enormous in terms of life, health, education, leisure and opportunity, while the downsides can be managed by appropriate policies. Economic Growth develops a new theory of growth. This new theory is based on careful analysis of actual growth; it covers the causes and mechanisms as well as the results of growth. This new theory extends conventional theory by operating at the industry level and by placing demand considerations at the forefront of growth. Demand growth – based on product innovation, marketing, credit and the consumer society – drives the economy forward while supply growth – based on investment and process innovation – sustains the growth in spending and incomes. Growth is not automatic but, in the right conditions, demand and supply expansion work together to generate sustained growth. Economic Growth offers a new view of growth, unique in its combination of historical depth, intellectual clarity and practical relevance. Its original insights will interest academic and professional economists, while its comprehensive treatment and lucid explanations make it an excellent guidebook for anyone interested in economic growth.