Celebrating Organization Theory: Counterpoint
Continuing with the debate on organization theory, in our next meeting we look at the counterpoint by Davis (2015) to Celebrating Organization Theory (Lounsbury & Beckman, 2015). Being critical towards the theoretical progress in the field, Davis (2015) suggests three promising problem-driven research areas for the future.
The article can be found here.
Organization and management theory as a field faces criticisms from several scholars that it has an unhealthy obsession with ‘theory’, while at the same time seeing very little cumulative theoretical progress. Some have even accused the field of being mired in the 1970s. Lounsbury and Beckman counter with an expansive review of several thriving domains of contemporary organizational research that demonstrate the theoretical vibrancy of the field. This article responds by seeking to define ‘theoretical progress’ in ways that extend beyond just the volume of articles produced. It finds that 1970s-era classics have seen a surge of citations since the turn of the twenty-first century, consistent with a view of limited progress. It concludes by outlining three areas of problem-driven research eminently worthy of attention from organizational researchers.