We explore the lived experience of organizational scholars who have conducted fieldwork in unsettling contexts. Through analyzing our interviews with these scholars, we…
We explore the lived experience of organizational scholars who have conducted fieldwork in unsettling contexts. Through analyzing our interviews with these scholars, we find themes around the causes and consequences of unsettling fieldwork, and the coping strategies employed. We reflect on the often overlooked emotional and relational aspects of conducting and coping with unsettling fieldwork, and offer some suggestions for how scholars might support each other, especially given the increasing prevalence of organizational scholarship that pushes boundaries by engaging unconventional topics and settings.
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…
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.
This chapter argues that while Organization and Management Theory (OMT) appears in good health it stands on the precipice of a crisis of its own making. This stems from an overly self-referential and narrow focus on theoretical contribution, at the expense of a broader set of societal commitments. Paradoxically, this is particularly the case if a researcher is putatively engaging with broader societal issues. The central thesis advanced in this chapter is that researchers should be more socially reflexive about what they are researching, why they are researching it, and for whom. As a corollary, the chapter calls for researchers to interrogate the research that they are undertaking critically and to work out the broader social significance of their work. The chapter unfolds with concise analyses of two branches of OMT: the sociology of the professions and institutional theory. The chapter highlights how research into the professions runs the danger of being captured by the objects of its research: as researchers busy themselves examining pre-existing concepts, rather than exploring the power struggles that take place in particular fields. The chapter argues for a re-framing of research into the professions. The chapter highlights the rise of institutional theory to its current position of dominance within OMT. Institutional theory’s recent move to study ‘Grand Challenges’ is welcomed but also problematised. The chapter closes with reflections on a course of action for making OMT matter.
In this chapter, the authors critique dominant technocratic conceptions of rigor in management research and elaborate an alternative account of rigor that is rooted in…
In this chapter, the authors critique dominant technocratic conceptions of rigor in management research and elaborate an alternative account of rigor that is rooted in methodology and involves a concern with the quality of scientific reasoning rather than a narrower focus on methods or measurement issues per se. Based on the proposed redefinition, the authors conceptualize how rigor, as an essential quality of reasoning, may be defined and the authors in turn qualify alternative methodological criteria for how they might assess the rigor of any particular piece of research. In short, with this chapter the authors’ overall aim is to shift the basis of rigor to an altogether more legitimate and commensurable notion that squarely puts the focus on reasoning and scientific inference for quantitative and qualitative research alike. The authors highlight some of the benefits that such an alternative and unified view of rigor may potentially provide toward fostering the quality and progress of management research.
The circumstances for the emergence of new ideas in organizational theory have previously been explored from several viewpoints. Researchers trace the origins of new ideas…
The circumstances for the emergence of new ideas in organizational theory have previously been explored from several viewpoints. Researchers trace the origins of new ideas to previous literature or compare ideas across continents and countries. The author takes another point of departure. Following Merton (1957, 1963), she focuses on “multiple discoveries” in science, studying the independent, simultaneous (re-)discovery of certain aspects of institutional theory in organizational theory. Specifically, she follows the circumstances under which two pairs of researchers proffered similar explanations for the phenomena they encountered (Jönsson & Lundin, 1977; Meyer & Rowan, 1977). Without ever having met, they suggested an analogous way of understanding the concept of organizing, though their research used different frames of reference and field material and was published in different outlets. The author’s analysis of the circumstances surrounding the two papers led her to explore elements in the emergence of new ideas: the Zeitgeist – the spirit of the times – international networks, and collegial work. When these factors are in play, physical meetings do not seem to be required, but scholars must be involved in networks in which their colleagues provide judgment and advice.
Pragmatism in the sense of harmonizing rules and reality for the sake of appropriate problem solving and overall performance is a ubiquitous phenomenon in organizational…
Pragmatism in the sense of harmonizing rules and reality for the sake of appropriate problem solving and overall performance is a ubiquitous phenomenon in organizational life. As such it has been generalized as an everyday requirement of making organizations work and a virtue of human decision making under the condition of complexity, strategic dilemmas or “wicked problems.” This chapter addresses both the theoretical and the normative dimensions of pragmatism in organizations, public administration in particular. The main statement is that the necessary theoretical clarification concerns the distinction between pragmatism and what is referred to as a logic of appropriateness while the normative limits of pragmatism refer to the necessity of ranking logics of appropriateness and related values plus the ability to act on the basis of accurate judgment which is primarily, even if not exclusively, a matter of leadership.
In this chapter, the authors discuss how visual artifacts may support the analysis and interpretation of qualitative data in organization studies. They draws on their own experience as well as other scholars’ published work to explore the distinctive affordances of visual forms. In particular, the authors identify four roles – namely “mapping,” “analyzing,” “conceptualizing,” and “communicating” – that visual artifacts play to help us move from raw qualitative data to a compelling conceptual product.
Specifically, the use of visuals for “mapping” involves directly coding data into visual forms such as cognitive maps, flow charts or relational diagrams, an approach that may offer a useful complement to traditional verbal coding. Using visuals for “analyzing” implies either comparing, aggregating or decomposing previously constructed visual maps, or drawing directly on verbal data to develop visuals such as analytical flow charts, process replication maps, and trend charts. Using visuals for “conceptualizing” involves rising above the data to develop more abstract representations of concepts and relationships, while maintaining recognizable connections to empirical phenomena. While conceptual models can take a wide variety of forms, the authors illustrate, in particular, the use of visuals to represent linear, dialectic and multi-level process theories. Finally, the authors consider the importance of visualizations for “communicating” insights as well as for developing them, and the inextricable linkages between the two.
The authors conclude by discussing some of the strengths and weaknesses of visualization and by considering how new technologies may offer further possibilities for useful and insightful visual representations of qualitative data that can enhance theory-building.
The authors explore the emergence of altmetrics and Open Access (OA) publishing and discuss why their adoption in the management field lags behind other fields such as…
The authors explore the emergence of altmetrics and Open Access (OA) publishing and discuss why their adoption in the management field lags behind other fields such as life sciences. The authors draw on the status literature to discuss the knowledge production and consumption underpinned by the ‘Impact Factor’ metric and high-status ‘Toll Access’ journals and their implications. The authors explain the rise of altmetrics and OA publishing and their implications on the production and consumption of knowledge. The authors then examine the current situation, challenges and offer reflections on the management field’s progression towards a more open research regime in the digital era.
This paper aims to assess the effectiveness of verbal self‐guidance (VSG) and self‐management on youth employability. It seeks to access the joint effectiveness of these interventions, grounded in social cognitive and goal setting theories, for youth job seekers.
The studies used experimental designs involving participants enrolled in an undergraduate business cooperative degree program. Survey data assessing self‐efficacy and anxiety were collected pre and post‐training. Interview performance was also assessed in each study.
In study 1, it was found that students trained in self‐management and verbal self‐guidance (SMVSG) improved interview performance and reduced anxiety. In study 2, it was found that self‐efficacy and job search effort were higher in the SMVSG group relative to VSG alone.
For study 1, the only measure of employment was a mock interview. For study 2, a limitation was that approximately 25 per cent of participants failed to either complete the post‐training survey or attend the interview.
Overall the studies describe a relatively simple and low cost training intervention, and associated performance measures, that can continue to be used by practitioners and scholars with future groups of youth job seekers.
The paper shows that these studies further support the effectiveness of VSG‐based interventions for employability. The paper also shows the value of augmenting VSG training with self‐management training in the context of youth employability. Furthermore, this research also considered anxiety, a key variable in successful employment that has often been omitted in the literature.