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Designing Technology, Work, Organizations and Vice Versa
Enrico Attila Bruni, University of Trento, Italy et al.
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $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.
Titans of the Forests
The Economic Evolution of the Human Species and that of Our CulturesJuly 2015 / ISBN: 9781622730278
Availability: In stock
189pp. ¦ $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.
Sociology of Love
The Agapic Dimension of Societal Life
Gennaro Iorio, University of Salerno, Italy
Availability: In stock
134pp. ¦ $25 £16 €20
This short book deals with a sociological concept: love-agape. It is an attempt to demonstrate that love-agape resists, indeed insists, as a fact that cannot be reduced or concealed. Its simple goal is to introduce agape into the vocabulary of sociological analysis by demonstrating its potential to demarcate and to interpret social phenomena. Love-agape is presented as a critical concept. On the one hand, love-agape denounces the risks linked to the needs of closed groups, often absolutist and fundamentalist. On the other hand, it represents a concrete reality, lying at the root of a particular type of sociality. A sociality that, rather unconventionally, recognizes differences and distances, but also characterizes their condition of being together, as community founded on the recognition and respect of subjectivity.
The Knowledge Plexus
A Systemic View on the Economic Geography of Technological Knowledge
George Chorafakis, University of Barcelona, Spain
Availability: In stock
391pp. ¦ $60 £45 €55
This book is a collection of 5 essays on the economic geography of technological knowledge. Their common threads are: (i) the quest for a new paradigm in economic geography, termed ‘systemic’, as an alternative to the neoclassical, based on the epistemological premise of emergence and the theories of evolution and complexity; and (ii) the intent to explain the process of technological knowledge production as a systemic phenomenon occurring in relational space subject to emergence and co-evolutionary dynamics. In this theoretical framework, the author analyses various European knowledge networks, and examines their effects on the production of technological knowledge as sources of relational cognitive capital and economies of complexity. He then poses a number of questions on the direction and instrumentalities of the European research, technological development and innovation policies, and in particular on the issues of cohesion and dynamic efficiency of the European research system.