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Decoding Organization
Bletchley Park, Codebreaking and Organization Studies


  • Date Published: September 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107676756

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About the Authors
  • How was Bletchley Park made as an organization? How was signals intelligence constructed as a field? What was Bletchley Park's culture and how was its work co-ordinated? Bletchley Park was not just the home of geniuses such as Alan Turing, it was also the workplace of thousands of other people, mostly women, and their organization was a key component in the cracking of Enigma. Challenging many popular perceptions, this book examines the hitherto unexamined complexities of how 10,000 people were brought together in complete secrecy during World War II to work on ciphers. Unlike most organizational studies, this book decodes, rather than encodes, the processes of organization and examines the structures, cultures and the work itself of Bletchley Park using archive and oral history sources. Organization theorists, intelligence historians and general readers alike will find in this book a challenge to their preconceptions of both Bletchley Park and organizational analysis.

    • The first social scientific account of Bletchley Park by one of the leading figures in organization studies
    • Proposes a distinctive approach to organization studies that will appeal to those dissatisfied with current thinking
    • Offers a detailed historical case study that challenges many popular preconceptions and myths
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Christopher Grey has written a very innovative and captivating book about 'decoding' organizations, which can also be used to decode organization studies … Grey did a great job in promoting a new understanding of organizational phenomena, in a double sense: by decoding the organization at Bletchley Park, he also contributed to the development of the historical ethnography of organizations. Despite its empirical and theoretical relevance, secrecy is still a neglected topic in organization studies, and Grey's work is a rare exception. Highly recommended.' Maurizio Catino, Public Administration

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107676756
    • length: 342 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: organization studies, history and Bletchley Park
    Part I. Decoding Structures:
    1. The making of Bletchley Park
    2. The making of signals intelligence at Bletchley Park
    Part II. Decoding Cultures:
    3. Pillars of culture at Bletchley Park
    4. Splinters of culture at Bletchley Park
    Part III. Decoding Work:
    5. Making Bletchley Park work
    6. Understanding Bletchley Park's work
    Conclusion: reviving organization studies.

  • Author

    Christopher Grey, Royal Holloway, University of London
    Christopher Grey is a Professor at the Royal Holloway, University of London. He was previously a Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the University of Warwick, and before that, a Professor of Organizational Theory at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Wolfson College. Professor Grey has published numerous academic articles on the sociology and history of management and organizations, on management education and learning, on critical management studies and on professional services organizations. He is the author of the bestselling student primer, A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Organizations, 2nd edition (2009).

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