Celebrating Organization Theory: The After‐Party

11 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2015

See all articles by Gerald F. Davis

Gerald F. Davis

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Date Written: March 2015


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.

Keywords: big data, organization theory, philosophy of science, quasi‐experiments science, theoretical progress

Suggested Citation

Davis, Gerald F., Celebrating Organization Theory: The After‐Party (March 2015). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 52, Issue 2, pp. 309-319, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2564359 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12094

Gerald F. Davis (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States
734-647-4737 (Phone)
734-936-0282 (Fax)

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