The study of organizations as social contexts concerns itself with fragments of organizational life, not with its totality or essential reality, nor with a representative sample of it. These fragments change in the course of the knowledge-gathering process. Organizational phenomena are in constant flux: just like Heraclitus’ river, which cannot be stepped in twice because the water constantly flows and is never the same, so the same organization cannot be ‘known’ twice. This is an epstemological position. To adopt it entails not only awareness of the limited nature of one’s knowledge of organizations but also recognition that it is neither corret nor oportune to compare heterogeneous fragments, except for elements so well cirsumstantiated that they yield some sort of generic information about organizational life.
Strati, Antonio. “Preface.” Theory and Method in Organization Studies Paradigms and Choices. London: SAGE, 2000. Xi. Print.