Celebrating Organization Theory

21 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2015

See all articles by Michael Lounsbury

Michael Lounsbury

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Christine M Beckman

University of California, Irvine

Date Written: March 2015


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.

Keywords: behavioural, categories, institution, logics, networks, organization, organization theory, practice, strategy

Suggested Citation

Lounsbury, Michael and Beckman, Christine M, Celebrating Organization Theory (March 2015). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 52, Issue 2, pp. 288-308, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2564358 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12091

Michael Lounsbury (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6

Christine M Beckman

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

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