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A Review of the Current State of Negotiated Order Theory: An Appreciation and a Critique

Robert Day and Joanne V. Day
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 18, No. 1, Special Issue: Organization Analysis: Critique and Innovation (Winter, 1977), pp. 126-142
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4105567
Page Count: 17
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A Review of the Current State of Negotiated Order Theory: An Appreciation and a Critique
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Abstract

It is argued that the theory of negotiated order, which has remained largely submerged within a series of fairly specific "grounded" case studies of occupations, professions, and complex organizations in the health field, has a number of attractive qualities to it. As such, it represents one of the more exciting recent developments in the study of organizations. The present paper examines the more recent historical origins of the theory, summarizes its major points, and critically assesses its strengths and weaknesses. Since most of the substance of the theory is found in studies of health professionals working in hospital settings, the examples used here are also derived from this particular body of literature. Some future possible directions which we believe will improve the overall explanatory power of the perspective are presented in the concluding section.

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