Category Archives: Great Quotations

SJ Gould Quote and Org Theory

Found this gem buried in Alan Meyer’s (and Tsui and Hinnings) essay on Configurational Analysis….

 

The history of life contains “long periods of boredom and short
periods of terror.”
Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda’s Thumb

I realize now this essay for me was a key link from the kind of deterministic quality of pop ecology stuff and the re-emergence of institutional theory point to where I mean to be myself: moving beyond a kind of narrow fit to envronment of contingency theory to one that sees a multivariate and dynamic relationship betwenn an organization,, multiple fields, and complex environments.

 

Meyer, Tsui, and Hinnigns citation:

Configurational Approaches to Organizational Analysis
Author(s): Alan D. Meyer, Anne S. Tsui, C. R. Hinings
Source:
The Academy of Management Journal,
Vol. 36, No. 6 (Dec., 1993), pp. 1175-1195

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Filed under Great Quotations, organization theory, writing

Blau Exchange: Charles Tilly Interview

This was a treat to find.  And reassuring as it is basically the trajectory I am trying to follow.

Blau Exchange: Charles Tilly Interview
Paul DiPerna:

If you have any advice for the next generation of scholars and researchers in the social sciences, what would you like to tell them?
Charles Tilly:

Don’t get blindsided by neuroscience, which is going to make individualistic, brain-centered accounts of human behavior even more popular for the next ten years or so. Anticipate the following phase, when even the neuroscientists will begin to recognize the importance of social interaction in the formation of individuals.
Paul DiPerna:

Along similar lines…. if you have any hopes for the next generation of scholars, what would you like to ask of them?
Charles Tilly:

Figure out how to do relational analyses that provide valid explanations of individual behavior and are accessible (at least in simplified form) to readers outside of social science.

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Filed under Great Quotations, Networks, Scholars, social theory, sociology

Amazing Adam Smith Quotation

Glenn Greenwald digs up this real gem from Adam Smith.

 In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies . . . .

They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war.

I joke with friends about what its like to be living during the apex and fall of the empire.   Especially when you consider how much our army looks like a mercenary army between private contractors and the growth of citizen-seeking legal aliens.  Machaivelli had something to say about what happens to the prince who relies on mercenaries.

This also happens to remind me of the admonishments the younger Holmes had for his father in their civil war correspondence.  Been reading that in Louis Menand’s the Metaphysical Club. The younger one basically keeps telling Pa to lay off about how the war should be fought and that poorly fought wars, even for a good cause, are still major cluster fucks.  Well, I’m paraphrasing.

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Filed under Great Quotations, Military, Politics, Power, Activism, Scholars