Western culture is a culture of hope. There is a long tradition of hoping not only for mundane, reasonably realistic events; people tend also to hope for the eventual realisation of grand ideals and lofty principles. This book explains how great hopes can be kept afloat in the face of discouraging experiences ? why people often fail to learn from experience, but continue to believe in unrealised and unrealistic ideals. How does the dream of the perfectly rational organization survive in a world which has little room for it? Nils Brunsson analyses how managers and other organization members can maintain their hope for the rational organization, even though they and others have failed to attain it. He relies on several empirical studies of organizational reforms which were based on this ideal. Hope gives rise to stability. There has been a long tradition in organization theory of questioning the realism and usefulness of the rational ideal, but hope keeps this ideal alive. By applying various ?mechanisms of hope?, managers and others can continue to hope for the rational organization and continue their attempts at reform. Nils Brunsson is a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he has held the City of Stockholm Chair in Public Management since 1986. He is the Chairman of the Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (Score). He has published some twenty books and numerous articles in the field of organization theory.
In the last decades the usefulness of the traditional, hierarchical organization model, has been criticised. Based on empirical studies of reforms in organizations with hierarchy and rationality as an ideal, the author explains why this model fails to succeed. He also discusses why managers and others, by applying mechanisms of hope, continue to keep the hope of the rational organization alive. Includes references.