The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78769-184-1, eISBN: 978-1-78769-183-4

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 11 April 2019


(2019), "Prelims", Zilber, T.B., Amis, J.M. and Mair, J. (Ed.) The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 59), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xiii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory

Series Page

Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Series Editor: Michael Lounsbury

Volume 38: Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research
Volume 39A: Institutional Logics in Action, Part A
Volume 39B: Institutional Logics in Action, Part B
Volume 40: Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks
Volume 41: Religion and Organization Theory
Volume 42: Organizational Transformation and Scientific Change: The Impact of Institutional Restructuring on Universities and Intellectual Innovation
Volume 43: Elites on Trial
Volume 44: Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Volume 45: Towards a Comparative Institutionalism: Forms, Dynamics and Logics Across the Organizational Fields of Health and Higher Education
Volume 46: The University Under Pressure
Volume 47: The Structuring of Work in Organizations
Volume 48A: How Institutions Matter!
Volume 48B: How Institutions Matter!
Volume 49: Multinational Corporations and Organization Theory: Post Millennium Perspectives
Volume 50: Emergence
Volume 51: Categories, Categorization and Categorizing: Category Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads
Volume 52: Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations: Contributions from French Pragmatist Sociology
Volume 53: Structure, Content and Meaning of Organizational Networks: Extending Network Thinking
Volume 54A: Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions
Volume 54B: Multimodality, Meaning, and Institutions
Volume 55: Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-market Strategy
Volume 56: Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-market Strategy
Volume 57: Towards Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Volume 58: Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority

Title Page

Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol 59

The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory

Edited by

Tammar B. Zilber

Hebrew University, Israel

John M. Amis

University of Edinburgh, UK

Johanna Mair

Hertie School of Governance, Germany

United Kingdom – North America – Japan India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2019

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-78769-184-1 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-183-4 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-78769-185-8 (Epub)

ISSN: 0733-558X (Series)


List of Contributors vii
About the Editors xiii
Introduction Dismantling the Master’s House Using the Master’s Tools: On the Sociology of Organizational Knowledge
Tammar B. Zilber, John M. Amis and Johanna Mair
Chapter 1 The Problem of De-contextualization in Organization and Management Research
Gregory Jackson, Markus Helfen, Rami Kaplan, Anja Kirsch and Nora Lohmeyer
Chapter 2 Pragmatism in Organizations: Ambivalence and Limits
Wolfgang Seibel
Chapter 3 Reframing Rigor as Reasoning: Challenging Technocratic Conceptions of Rigor in Management Research
Bill Harley and Joep Cornelissen
Chapter 4 Knowledge Production and Consumption in the Digital Era: The Emergence of Altmetrics and Open Access Publishing in Management Studies
Trin Thananusak and Shaz Ansari
Chapter 5 Peer Review and the Production of Scholarly Knowledge: Automated Textual Analysis of Manuscripts Revised for Publication in Administrative Science Quarterly
David Strang and Fedor Dokshin
Chapter 6 The (Re?)Emergence of New Ideas in the Field of Organizational Studies
Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist
Chapter 7 A Discourse Perspective on Creating Organizational Knowledge: The Case of Strategizing
Maurizio Floris, David Grant and Cliff Oswick
Chapter 8 When Fieldwork Hurts: On the Lived Experience of Conducting Research in Unsettling Contexts
Laura Claus, Mark de Rond, Jennifer Howard-Grenville and Jan Lodge
Chapter 9 Visual Artefacts as Tools for Analysis and Theorizing
Ann Langley and Davide Ravasi
Chapter 10 Presenting Findings from Qualitative Research: One Size Does Not Fit All!
Trish Reay, Asma Zafar, Pedro Monteiro and Vern Glaser
Chapter 11 For Social Reflexivity in Organization and Management Theory
Chris Carter and Crawford Spence
Chapter 12 ‘Through the Looking Glass’: on Phantasmal Tales, Distortions and Reflexivity in Organizational Scholarship
Barbara Gray
Chapter 13 When Research and Personal Lifeworlds Collide
April L. Wright and Carla Wright
Index 275

List of Contributors

Shaz Ansari is Professor at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. He has published in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy and Organization Studies. He serves on editorial boards of AMJ, AMR, Organization Science, JOM, JMS and Organization Studies.

Chris Carter writes and teaches about politics, media and professional groups. He works at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Laura Claus is Assistant Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at University College London, School of Management, UK. Her research uses qualitative methods to study different organizational approaches to introducing change in the Global South. In so doing, she explores how organization can design and structure ‘solutions’ for deep-rooted social problems and support marginalized groups who lack the opportunity/voice to speak for themselves (e.g., child brides in Indonesia and rural villagers in Tanzania).

Joep Cornelissen is Professor of Corporate Communication and Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands. The main focus of his research involves studies of the role of corporate and managerial communication in the context of innovation, entrepreneurship and change, and of social evaluations of the legitimacy and reputation of start-up and established firms. In addition, he also has an interest in questions of scientific reasoning and theory development in management and organization theory.

Fedor Dokshin is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Canada. His research interests are in political sociology, organizations and social networks. He also has an interest in computational approaches to analysing data from novel sources including digital trace data, large-scale text data and administrative datasets.

Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist holds a position as Professor in Organization Theory and Management at the Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI), School of Business, Economics, and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Since 2012 she is the director of GRI. Her research interests concern organizing, especially technology, governance in professional organizations and diversity.

Maurizio Floris is Director of Leadership Programs at the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership, University of Sydney, Australia. His research focuses on leadership, team dynamics, stakeholder engagement, particularly in the context of complex projects. He is particularly interested in discourse, knowledge and practice, how these shape our social and organizational reality, and how this can be used to deliver practical outcomes and social impact. Prior to his academic career, Maurizio was in industry for nearly 20 years, contributing to or leading strategy reviews, reorganizations, ICT projects and engineering projects. Being Dutch-Italian by birth, he still loves a mean pasta and a good windmill.

Vern L. Glaser is Assistant Professor at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta, Canada. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. His research investigates how organizations strategically change practices and culture.

David Grant is Pro-Vice Chancellor at the Griffith Business School, Australia. His research focuses on how language and other symbolic media influence the practice of leadership and organization-wide, group and individual level change. He has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and co-edited several books including the Sage Handbook of Organizational Discourse (2004, with Cynthia Hardy, Cliff Oswick and Linda Putnam) and Discourse and Organization (1998, with Cliff Oswick and Tom Keenoy). He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2008 and is an elected member of the National Training Laboratory. A lifelong Arsenal supporter, he has come to understand the true meaning of resilience.

Barbara Gray studies conflict, collaboration, power and institutional processes. She has published widely in management journals and co-authored Collaborating for Our Future (Oxford University Press, 2018). She received two life-time achievement awards. She is a mediator, consults to public, private and non-governmental organizations worldwide and a Lay Zen teacher.

Gregory Jackson is Professor of Management at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His research examines how corporate governance and corporate social responsibility is influenced by diverse organizational and institutional contexts. His work draws on actor-centered institutional perspectives from organizational theory, economic sociology, and comparative political economy. His research has been published widely in leading journals, including Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, and Journal of International Business Studies. He is an Editor of British Journal of Industrial Relations and currently serves as Chief Editor of the Socio-Economic Review.

Bill Harley is Professor of Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Bill is best known for his research on employee experiences of management practices, with a focus on questions of power and control.

Jennifer Howard-Grenville is the Diageo Professor of Organisation Studies at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. She contributes to organization theory through in-depth, qualitative studies of how people work from within to change organizations, communities, and occupations.

Anja Kirsch is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Management, School of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her current research focuses on the changing role of boards of directors, and in particular on the determinants and effects of increasing diversity in board composition. She has published her findings in The Leadership Quarterly and in the edited collection Seierstad, C., Gabaldon, P., & Mensi-Klarbach, H. (Eds.). (2017). Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: The Use of Different Quota Regulations. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ann Langley is Professor of Management at HEC Montréal and holder of the Chair in Strategic Management in Pluralistic Settings, Canada. Her research focuses on organizational change, leadership and strategic processes and practices in pluralistic settings, with an emphasis on qualitative research approaches. She is Co-Editor of the Journal Strategic Organization, and Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg and Adjunct Professor at the Université de Montréal.

Jan Lodge is a Ph.D. candidate in Organisational Theory at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. His research uses qualitative data and analysis to explore how organizations and individuals manage contested social evaluations with a particular focus on fighting stigmatization.

Markus Helfen is Professor of Human Resource Management & Employment Relations in the Department of Organisation and Learning in the Faculty of Business & Management, University of Innsbruck, Austria. Markus does research in the fields of HRM, employment relations, and organization theory. Current topics and projects include global labor standards, inter-organizational HRM and employment relations as well as sustainability studies. Markus has published in leading management and industrial relations journals like Organization Studies, Human Relations, and the British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Pedro Monteiro is Research Fellow at Warwick Business School, UK, in the IKON research unit joining EMLyon (Fall 2018) as a post-doctoral fellow. He is an Ethnographer of work and organizations with an interest in classic themes in organization theory, especially bureaucracy. He co-founded the Talking About Organizations Podcast.

Nora Lohmeyer is a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Department of Management, School of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, where she is part of the Garment Supply Chain Governance Project ( Her main research interests revolve around the politics of corporate social responsibility – studied mainly from a historical and discursive perspective – as well as the governance of labor standards in global garment supply chains.

Cliff Oswick is Professor of Organization Theory at Cass Business School, City University of London, UK (and previously served as Deputy Dean between 2011 and 2016). His research interests focus on the study of organizing processes and organizational change. He has published over 140 academic articles and contributions to edited volumes. He has previously served as an Associate Editor for Journal of Change Management and Journal of Organizational Change Management. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an Elected Member of the National Training Laboratory, Chair of the board of trustees for the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, and Chair-Elect of the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management. More generally, he has recently become a grandparent and he is a lifelong QPR supporter.

Rami Kaplan is a Political and Organizational Sociologist positioned as a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His research explores the historical emergence, evolution, and globalization of corporate social responsibility practices and ideologies, across such countries as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Venezuela, and the Philippines as well as on the transnational level. He has published in Socio-Economic Review, Business & Society, and the Oxford Handbook for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Davide Ravasi is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the UCL School of Management, UK, and Visiting Professor at the Aalto School of Business, Helsinki, Finland. His research examines interrelations between organizational identity, culture and strategy in times of change, and socio-cognitive processes shaping entrepreneurship, design, and innovation.

Trish Reay is Professor in the Department of Strategic Management and Organization at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton, Canada. She currently serves as Editor-in-Chief at Organization Studies. Her research interests include qualitative research methods, organizational and institutional change, professions and professional identity.

Mark de Rond is Professor of Organizational Ethnography at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. A recurring feature in his work is the variety of human experience in all-absorbing environments. His fieldwork has involved a Boat Race rowing crew, doctors and nurses in a war hospital, peace activists walking from Berlin to Aleppo, and an attempt to scull the navigable length of the river Amazon.

Wolfgang Seibel is a Full Professor of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz, Germany, and an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany. His recent work focuses on the theory of public administration, including variants of administrative failure and disasters, and on international bureaucracies in various forms ranging from occupation regimes during World War II and its impact on the Holocaust to humanitarian intervention and complex UN peacekeeping missions and phenomena of rare but drastic failure in public administration. His recent books include “Persecution and Rescue. The Politics of the ‘Final Solution’ in France, 1940–1944” (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press 2016),” “The Management of UN Peacekeeping. Coordination, Learning & Leadership in Peace Operations”, Lynne Rienner Publ. 2017 (Ed., with Julian Junk, Francesco Mancini, Till Blume); “Verwaltungsdesaster” [Public Administration Disasters], Campus Publ. 2017 (with Kevin Klamann and Hannah Treis); “Verwaltung verstehen. Eine theoriegeschichtliche Einführung” [Understanding Public Administration. A History of Ideas-based Introduction], 3rd ed. Suhrkamp 2018.]

Crawford Spence’s research is principally focused on the sociology of expert groups, looking at how various financial actors (accountants, financial analysts, tax advisors, fund managers) in terms of how they negotiate social, cultural, political and economic pressures.

David Strang is Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, USA. His research focuses on the spread of practices in the business, political, and scientific worlds. He has developed statistical methods for the study of diffusion within an event history framework and agent-based models for the simulation of booms and busts in management fashion.

Trin Thananusak is Lecturer at the College of Management, Mahidol University, Thailand. He obtained Ph.D. from Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK in 2016. A paper from his Ph.D. thesis won the Best Paper Award in Strategic Management at the 16th European Academy of Management Annual Meeting in June 2016.

April L. Wright is Associate Professor in Strategy at the UQ Business School at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research on institutional maintenance and change and professional values has been published in leading international journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Organizational Research Methods, and the British Journal of Management.

Carla Wright is looking forward to resuming her studies as an undergraduate student at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Asma Zafar is a doctoral student at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta, Canada. Asma’s dissertation explores organizational responses to geographical disruptions through the use of ethnographic techniques. Her work has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics and has been presented at several management conferences.

About the Editors

Tammar B. Zilber is Associate Professor of Organization Theory at the Jerusalem Business School, Hebrew University, Israel. She studies how people, organizations, and fields create, maintain, and change shared understandings, and the interrelations between these shared experiences and larger societal and cultural systems.

John M. Amis is Professor of Strategic Management and Organisation and Co-Director of the Centre for Strategic Leadership at the University of Edinburgh Business School, UK. His research examines large-scale organizational, institutional, and social change. He is past Chair of the Academy of Management’s Organization Development & Change Division.

Johanna Mair is Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany, and co-directs the Global Innovation for Impact Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, USA. Her research addresses the nexus of societal challenges, institutions, and organizations.