Origins of Organizing
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Origins of Organizing

Edited by Tuomo Peltonen, Hugo Gaggiotti and Peter Case

The origins of organizing are conventionally seen as emerging from the historiographical works of Western social scientists in the early 20th century. Here, the authors address a gap in current literature by exploring previously unrecognized or marginalized global origins in both modern and ancient history.
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Chapter 5: Organizing in the Roman Empire

Barbara Czarniawska


In her chapter, Czarniawska gives us the opportunity to imagine the origins of organizing in the still significant legacy of the Romans and their long-lasting empire. Her reflections are not so much concerned with the organizational and economic aspects of the Empire, but of the imbricated relationship of the Roman management of military and civil administration. She focuses, in particular, on the financial, agricultural, industrial, and trade dimensions of Rome. Czarniawska insists on the ‘hybridity’ of the organization of the Empire and especially its economy. We see the Empire through the eyes of Czarniawska as a hybrid military-economical conundrum, with a multiplicity of rules and standards interpreted locally and dependent on complex political and cultural practices of rules, bureaucracies and standards. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the limits and scope of using the Empire as a source of contemporary insight but, nonetheless, reinforces her key message that many of our ways of organizing were born in Rome.

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