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Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

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Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

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Jean Helms Mills and Albert J. Mills

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Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

In this chapter we argue that it is important to study the role of history in current practices of gender differences. In particular we are interested in understanding how discriminatory practices develop, are maintained and change over time, and how these processes influence current relationships. We begin with a brief outline of the importance of studying past events and their role in shaping discriminatory ideas and practices. We then focus on the problematic role of studying history by examining three competing philosophical approaches, namely, modernism (single, factual accounts), postmodernism (relativist, discursive and plural accounts) and amodernism (relational multiple accounts), and their implications for research strategies. We draw on examples from commercial aviation to provide understanding of how each of these research strategies can be applied and their contrasting strengths and weaknesses. In the process, the key concepts we discuss are feminist theory, archival research, junctures, history, the past and ANTi-History.

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Tianyuan Yu, Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

This chapter proposes a radically different starting point for consideration of the epistemological character of management and organizational history – a Zen-informed approach that is neither wholly Western nor Eastern in the twenty-first century but a way of rethinking knowledge that crosses geopolitical boundaries. The authors start by reconfiguring Burrell and Morgan’s sociological framework, informed by the Zen spirit of non-duality and non-attachment. The proposed ‘global model’ provides an innovative solution to the problem of paradigm incommensurability. They also suggest that the symbolic representation of Zen in management and organization studies is something ‘global’ in contrast to the bipolar, linear, two-dimensional matrices typical in Western theoretical constructions. Accordingly, a Zen approach is a hybrid version or a multi-paradigm approach. The authors use a cross-cultural study of a social phenomenon – the divergent discourses on the Weberian notion of bureaucracy in China and Canada – to explore the potential of a Zen-informed approach.