He reads and knows in depth what is written in many countries. And he is able to integrate the various contributions into
a systematic as well as a historic framework.
He covers general sociology as well as sociology of organizations. Every contribution made by Cor always tries to link a thesis
picked in the middle level theories and an original set of empirical data. He reminds us about the fact that, while organizations
studies have to generate new knowledge, scholars have not to rediscover the wheel, which means that scientific culture, or
knowing the past contributors (past meaning more than 10 or 20 years ago), provides an essential incentive to creativity.
He has been and remains a sharp critic of what he considers as not been rigorous enough or as been too much fad-driven research.
He goes on reminding us that there are historic roots to our domains and that some cumulative development is part of scientific
excellence. Cor really is interested in tracking the development of a discipline, sociology of organizations, which he believes
has a core, a common backbone, robust and clearly defined.
This suggests that Cor does not show too much enthusiasm for non-Kantian philosophy as far as organizations are concerned.
Alain Touraine's contributions got for instance a rather rough treatment, being associated to 'de franse slag'. Cor does not
feel attracted by speculative approaches. To some extent, this is in line with his socialization process in the Dutch and
Protestant cultures. God cannot be reduced to common ideas, ordinary ideas. Theory is one and indivisible, every human being
has equal access to it and it should matter for everyone. Therefore beware not to mess around with it. Well, Cor, for quite
a few years, some French authors (catholics, should I add) were perceived as tricky scientists. I now wonder whether you would
not have to revise your judgment. At least French scholars nowadays have from time to time the feeling that agnostic Northern
and AngloSaxon colleagues commit more sins than themselves do and you would have trouble accepting them. You are a cosmopolitan
Cor has been and remains a creative researcher, starting in the late fifties and early sixtiess with studies on merry events
such as evacuation and disaster experiences, general practitioners and their patients, or strikes and mutinies. In the beginning
of the third millenium, you deal with armies at war, military occupations and atrocities. One may be puzzled by such a consistent
pattern. Is Cor carrying the misery of the world on his shoulder? No. What is impressive is the variety of the issues ha has
covered with his research publications. One should add industrial democracy, socialization processes, student unionism, etc.,
etc. While Cor has made a moderate use of number crunching as well as case studies, he has emphasized the use of one specific
source of data: archives and libraries.
Last but not least: While Cor Lammers has always showed some reluctance to enter grand theory debates, he often has reminded
us that theory of organizations as such is one of the most valid reasons to fight for a discipline which should beware of
two dangers: being too much business-oriented, becoming the alibi for some causes and advocates. Cor has never been close
to a consulting role, and he has been rather cautious about the idea that knowledge about organizations should be oriented
toward management and utility based perspectives. He has chosen to remain in a department of sociology and has remained far
away of the business schools connection.
Cor, you may feel rather skeptical about the discipline or the field as they are today. Let me express two requests. Be patient,
there may come a time again when the trend shall change and your ideals shall get more recognition. And do all you can to
remain a citizen of our scientific community as long as possible: We need and respect you as a statesman.
EGOS is glad to honor a great sociologist and a tough minded scholar!