- List of Contributors
- Introduction: The Need for Meta-theoretical Reflection in Organization Theory
- Organization Theory as a Positive Science
- Organization Theory as an Interpretive Science
- Organization Theory as a Critical Science? Forms of Analysis and ‘New Organizational Forms’
- Organization Theory as a Postmodern Science
- The Origins of Organization Theory
- The Historical and Epistemological Foundations of Organization Theory: Fusing Sociological Theory with Engineering Discourse
- Feminist Theory and Organization Theory: A Dialogue on New Bases
- The Styles and the Stylists of Organization Theory
- Pluralism, Scientific Progress, and the Structure of Organization Theory
- The Agency/Structure Dilemma in Organization Theory: Open Doors and Brick Walls
- Modes of Explanation in Organization Theory
- Micro and Macro Perspectives in Organization Theory: A Tale of Incommensurability
- Economic versus Sociological Approaches to Organization Theory
- Meta-theoretical Controversies in Studying Organizational Culture
- Actionable Knowledge
- Theory and Practice in the Real World
- Organization Theory and Ethics: Varieties and Dynamics of Constrained Optimization
- Character and Virtue in an Era of Turbulent Capitalism
- The Future of Organization Theory: Prospects and Limitations
- Managing Organization Futures in a Changing World of Power/Knowledge
- The Future of Organization Studies: Beyond the Selection–Adaptation Debate
- At Home from Mars to Somalia: Recounting Organization Studies
- New Times, Fresh Challenges: Reflections on the Past and the Future of Organization Theory
Abstract and Keywords
The main purpose of this article is to define what intellectual structure best promotes the advancement of the field of organization studies. A conceptual framework is proposed to analyze different intellectual structures and appraise how they perform in promoting scientific progress. The term ‘intellectual structure’ refers to the distribution of activities within a scientific field at a specific point in time. This article focuses on the distribution between activities aimed at refining existing research programs, on the one hand, and activities aimed at searching for new theories, on the other hand. In accordance with studies of adaptive processes, it is argued that in order to make progress over a long period of time a scientific field has to secure a balance between the generation of new theoretical alternatives and the selection and retention of them.
Christian Knudsen is a Research Fellow at Copenhagen University and Arhus Business School, Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Visiting Professor at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Stanford University.
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