Organizing as Improvisations (Methodological Temptations of Social Constructivism)

31 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2003

See all articles by S.J. Magala

S.J. Magala

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: 23 2002 9,


Academic communities in social sciences are still dominated byneo-positivist paradigm, but communities of practice developing socialconstructivism have started to redress paradigmatic imbalances.According to the latter man-made organizational reality is processualand saturated with sensemaking (Weick). Social constructivistssucceeded in reconstructing complex organizational disasters andcontributed to organizational innovation and change (for instance inthe wake of ICT challenges). They belong to postmodernist critics ofmodernity's failure to regulate social development and contribute to abetter understanding of organizing (e.g. implementing a new technologyor managing knowledge production) as patchworking and improvising. Inspite of discriminating practices, they survive in academiccommunities.

Keywords: social constructivism, relativism, managerialism, critical theory, improvisation

JEL Classification: M, M10

Suggested Citation

Magala, Slawomir J., Organizing as Improvisations (Methodological Temptations of Social Constructivism) (23 2002 9,). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2002-76-ORG. Available at SSRN:

Slawomir J. Magala (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam

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