In this introduction, the authors outline some critical reflections on the sociology of knowledge within management and organization theory. Based on a review of various works that form a sociology of organizational knowledge, the authors identify three approaches that have become particularly prominent ways by which scholars explore how knowledge about organizations and management is produced: First, reflective and opinion essays that organization studies scholars offer on the basis of what can be learned from personal experience; second, descriptive craft-guides that are based on more-or-less comprehensive surveys on doing research; third, papers based on systematic research that are built upon rigorous collection and analysis of data about the production of knowledge. Whereas in the studies of organizing the authors prioritize the third approach, that is knowledge produced based on systematic empirical research, in examining our own work the authors tend to privilege the other two types, reflective articles and surveys. In what follows the authors highlight this gap, offer some explanations thereof, and call for a better appreciation of all three ways to offer rich understandings of organizations, work and management as well as a fruitful sociology of knowledge in our field.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the European Theory Development Workshop in Vienna, June 2018. We thank all the participants, and especially our discussants Eva Boxenbaum, Dennis Jancsary, and Marc Ventresca, as well as Vern Glaser, Jean-Pascal Gond, Ali Gümüsay, Emilio Marti, and Chris Steele for their encouraging and challenging comments and suggestions.
Zilber, T.B., Amis, J.M. and Mair, J. (2019), "Dismantling the Master’s House Using the Master’s Tools
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