We conclude our conversation about the Aston School with one of its founding members, Bob Hinings. In this release, we focus on the legacy and impacts of the Aston School on contemporary organization studies and its relationships with other major literature streams such as contingency theory.
The Aston Group from Birmingham, United Kingdom played a major role in the early development of organization theory and management science. Throughout the 1960s, the Aston Group performed numerous studies (the "Aston Studies") of industrial Birmingham and contributed landmark works on organizational structure, organizational analysis, and institution theory. We are honored to welcome one of its members, Bob Hinings, to our studio as a special guest to talk about the Aston School, its contributions, and some of the stories behind them.
In part 2, we explore an article from Edward Powley on activating organizational resilience — “Reclaiming resilience and safety: Resilience activation in the critical period of crisis,” published in Human Relations in 2009. The article describes three different social mechanisms that are put into action according to Powley — liminal suspension, compassionate witnessing, and relational redundancy. Respectively, these mechanisms cause the organization to temporarily restructure itself to respond to the crisis, leverage interpersonal relationships within the organization more intensely, and leverage social connections across boundaries to reach out and help others outside the organization.
Crises and disasters are regular occurrences in organizational life, putting leaders into the spotlight and organizations under tremendous pressure to respond appropriately - whether it is to preserve life or salvage reputations. With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, we wanted to discuss some classic texts on organizational crises and their management. In this episode, we include Karl Weick's famous paper on the Tenerife Air Disaster when two Boeing 747s collided and an article from Edward Powley on activating organizational resilience in crisis.
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Creator Details

Episode Count
306
Podcast Count
2
Total Airtime
1 week, 18 hours