J. Kenneth Benson

J. Kenneth Benson
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D. The University of Texas, Austin

Research and Teaching: 

Benson is developing a dialectical perspective on organizations and institutions.  He recently published a critique of institutional theories, a human rights perspective on organization studies, and an encyclopedia entry on the dialectical theory of organizations.  He continues to pursue studies of national industrial policies and of religious organizations/occupations.


Kenneth Benson joined our department in 1966.  He specializes in theory, organizations, and work.

Select Publications: 

“Dialectical Theory of Organizations,” Pp. 190-194 in Eric Kessler, ed., Encyclopedia of Management Theory.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2013.

“Oganizations, Occupations, and Work,” Pp.  159-175 in David L. Brunsma, Kari E. Lyall Smith, and Brian K. Gran, eds., Handbook of Human Rights. Boulder, London:  Paradigm Publishers, 2013.

“Institutionalization and Capitalism: A Dialectical and Historical Contingency Approach,” Pp. 67-97 in Harland Prechel, ed., Politics and Public Policy, Research in Political Sociology, Vol. 10.  UK:  JAI, Emerald, 2008 (with Byung-Soo Kim as co-author). 

“Active-Competitive Industrial Policy: From Elite Project to Logic of Action,” Pp. 169-186 in Clarence Y. H. Lo and Michael Schwartz, eds., Social Policy and the Conservative Agenda.  Walden MA  and Oxford UK:  Blackwell Publishers, 1998 (with Nick Paretsky as co-author). 




“The Interorganizational Network as a Political Economy,” Administrative Science Quarterly.  1977.  Reprinted in Steve Cropper et al, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Interorganizational Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.  Also Reprinted in Steward Clegg, ed. Central Currents in Organization Studies. Sage Publications Ltd., 2002.  (Cited by 1462)     

“Organizations: A Dialectical View,” Administrative Science Quarterly 22:1 (March 1977), pp. 1-21.  Reprinted in Cary L.  Cooper, ed., Classics in Management Thought.  Edward Elgar, 2000.  Also Reprinted in Barbara Czarniawska, ed., Organization Theory, Vol. I. Edward Elgar, 2008.(Cited by 974)

“A Framework for Policy Analysis,” Pp.137-176 in David Rogers, David Whetten, and Associates, Interorganizational Coordination: Theory, Research, and Implementation. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1982. Reprinted in Tadao Miyakawa, ed., The Science of Public Policy: Essential Readings in Policy Science, Vol. 6. London: Routledge, 2000.  (Cited by 366)

In Progress

“Professions, Religions, and Publics: A Report on Two Surveys,” in Edmund Lambeth, ed., Professional Creativity and the Common Good: Toward Alternatives to the Culture Wars (with Ed Brent and Maksim Kokushkin as co-authors).