Wharton's anthology provides an overview of contemporary theory and research in the sociology of organizations. Three features of this book are particularly distinctive:
* An emphasis on sociological content: Although the readings reflect the multidisciplinarity and breadth of the organizations area, this anthology gives primary emphasis to selections with sociological content. Hence, the book should have strong appeal to instructors and students seeking a sociological understanding of organizations.
* Attention to contemporary theory and research: A unique feature of this anthology is its attention to contemporary theory and research on organizations. At the same time, Wharton grounds the book in the "modern classics." The readings reveal how organizational sociology contributes to our understanding of key social and economic issues, such as diversity, globalization, and the environment.
* Comprehensive, research-based, and methodologically diverse: The book is comprehensive in its coverage of topics, levels of analysis, and methodological approaches.
Topics covered include:
* Conceptions of organizations
* Organizational structure
* Historical development of the capitalist firm
* Nonprofits and alternative organizational forms
* Organizational culture
* Organizational demography and social networks
* Environments and organizational change
Introductions to each section identify and explain central issues, key concepts, and relationships among topics.