Robert Cooper, who died in 2013, was the leading theorist of organization working in England over the past few decades. Describing himself as a ‘social philosopher,’ he was one of the first writers to introduce post-structuralist and post-modern thought into theories of organization but was always reluctant to reduce what he did to being part of ‘Management.’ Instead, he concentrated on thinking about organizations and organizing, working with ideas about entity and process views of organizations, and also the dualisms of organization/environment, organization/disorganization, and concentrating particularly on ideas of the boundary or seam which divides and conjoins. He wrote about, and was influenced by systems theory and post-structuralist philosophy, particularly Whitehead, Bateson, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault and Simmel.
Cooper has already been the subject of much commentary but much of his work is not well known, and it deserves a wider readership. The purpose of this collection is to gather together a body of essays which are widely dispersed in journals and edited collections. This is a repository of pieces and extracts which stand the test of time, and scholars will benefit from a collection which pulls together some of his most influential work. The collection also contains two essays, one biographical and one intellectual, about Cooper and his work.