1982 volume 14(12) pages 1667 – 1683
doi:10.1068/a141667

Cite as:
Marshall J N, 1982, "Organisational theory and industrial location" Environment and Planning A 14(12) 1667 – 1683

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Organisational theory and industrial location

J N Marshall

Received 10 October 1980, in revised form 19 October 1981

Abstract. In terms of theory, the study of industrial location is largely a derivative discipline. It is argued that industrial geographers have adopted concepts from the organisational sciences without sufficient consideration of their disciplinary context. A review of organisational science theory suggests that mainstream industrial location analysis is flawed from a political and methodological point of view. Industrial geography has adopted a model of the business organisation which has a managerial bias. More subjective approaches towards organisational theory which emphasise individual perceptions and behaviour and the importance of the strategic decisions made by senior managers have also been neglected. It is proposed that studies in industrial location should be more firmly grounded in social theory. A more qualitative analysis of the industrial enterprise is suggested which uses participant-observation techniques that focus on the potential for choice in organisational systems of control.

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