SOCIOLOGY'S VIEW OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN THE MODERN SOCIAL ORDER: WHAT DOES IT SAY FOR THE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT TODAY? (INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY, BUSINESS PRACTICE)

RICHARD JUSTIN LAMBERT, Fordham University

Abstract

This is a study in classical social thought and in applied sociology. My main theme is the condition of the individual in the modern social order; an intermediate issue is the relationship of the worker and modern organization; and, most specifically, it focuses upon the relevance of sociological thinkers to my work as a management consultant.^ The first question I raise is: What is sociology's view of the individual in the modern social order? This will be reflected through the original perspectives of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, and Sigmund Freud. It is held that these social thinkers offer profound explanatory models for understanding the problematic condition of modern man--his sense of alienation, uprootedness, boredom, and anxiety in a "mass society" of bureaucratic-type organizations whose standards of action are increasingly depersonalized, abstract, rational and technical. A consulting project is reviewed and related to each of these social thinkers. Specific connections are claimed between the case study and the social thinker in terms of sociological concepts and theory, such as bureaucracy, alienation, anomie, rationalization, frustration, charisma, consensus.^ The question is asked whether the management consultant is supported or undermined by sociology's perspective on the individual in the modern social order? A review is made which ranges from individualism to man as a socio-historical construct, which includes the possibility of re-visioning the worker and re-inhabiting the organization. A statement is made on the practise of management consulting, its professional standards and code of ethics; and consulting is studied across a continuum from conservative practitioner to role conflict to revolutionary breakthrough.^ In management consulting as applied sociology, a method of re-education is offered as a contribution toward new model development and innovation. Awareness is addressed as a point of departure for personal empowerment, including the role of dialogical consciousness. There is linked together a productivity culture with a paradigm shift. Finally, a case study exemplifies the achievement possible in connecting personal empowerment, mediating structures and the transformation of organization. ^

Subject Area

Social research

Recommended Citation

LAMBERT, RICHARD JUSTIN, "SOCIOLOGY'S VIEW OF THE INDIVIDUAL IN THE MODERN SOCIAL ORDER: WHAT DOES IT SAY FOR THE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT TODAY? (INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY, BUSINESS PRACTICE)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8628543.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8628543

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