chapter  4
24 Pages

Max Weber: Victim of Ethnocentric Mishandling, or How Weber Became a Management Consultant

WithLeivesley Robert, Carr Adrian, Kouzmin Alexander

The scope and richness of Max Weber’s endeavors, and the brokenness too of his academic career, have left a legacy that will be variously interpreted to the continual enriching of the sociological tradition. The cultural matrix of its origin has sometimes been recognized and the historical circumstances of its origins have often been routinely outlined. Such theory is present as a series of disembodied verities rather than as contextually specific ideological formations responding to contemporary social and, specifically, work situations. Organization-design prescriptivists should pursue legitimacy without wantonly adulterating Max Weber. Perhaps Max Weber’s interpretive legacy can be freed to be explored without ethnocentric pragmatism obscuring his insight. The denial of the more interactive formation of the individual as social being in Weber’s work left Parsons with a problem. In Parsons’s translation of the word Kultur one again encounters a distortion of the social and historical context in which the meaning of the term arises.