Celebrating Organization Theory
Theoretical relevance and contributions are crucial ingredients for succeeding in the publishing process but also for enhancing the progress of the research field. As Suddably et al. (2011) provokingly asked in a Special Issue of AMR: ‘Where are the new theories of organization?’. In their most recent issue, the editors of the Journal of Management Studies, used this input for introducing a Point – Counterpoint debate from three past chairpersons of the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of the Academy of Management. As stated by the editors “Their [the three chairpersons’] privileged vantage point gave them a unique insight into what is being studied and how by management scholars around the world. However, this privileged vantage point seems to have brought them to opposite conclusions.”
In our next meeting we start following this intriguing debate with Lounsbury and Beckman (2015) Celebrating Organization Theory.
The article can be downloaded here.
In this paper, we respond to recent critiques about the state of organization theory that have characterized it as being anachronistic, overly theoretical, or lacking the right kind of theory. We argue that organization theory is extremely vibrant and highlight several areas where there are flourishing and generative developments – institutional logics, categorization, networks, performance feedback, and strategy-as-practice. We also note the growing internationalization of organization theory as exemplified in the shifting demography of the Organization and Management Theory division at the Academy of Management as well as at the European Group on Organization Studies. As engaged organization theory supporters and scholars, we additionally argue for a more balanced appreciation of not only the weaknesses in the field, but also its strengths, and urge a re-engagement in more productive conversations about the important role of theory and theorizing.