Introduction: Dismantling the master's house using the master's tools: On the sociology or organizational knowledge

Tammar B. Zilber, John Amis, Johanna Mair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this introduction, we outline some critical reflections on the sociology of knowledge within management and organization theory. Based on a review of various works that form a sociology of organizational knowledge, we identify three approaches that have become particularly prominent ways by which scholars explore how knowledge about organizations and management is produced: First, reflective and opinion essays that organization studies scholars offer on the basis of what can be learned from personal experience; second, descriptive craft-guides that are based on more-or-less comprehensive surveys on doing research; third, papers based on systematic research that are built upon rigorous collection and analysis of data about the production of knowledge. Whereas in our studies of organizing we prioritize the third approach, that is knowledge produced based on systematic empirical research, in examining our own work we tend to privilege the other two types, reflective articles and surveys. In what follows we highlight this gap, offer some explanations thereof, and call for a better appreciation of all three ways to offer rich understandings of organizations, work and management as well as a fruitful sociology of knowledge in our field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • sociology of knowledge
  • production of knowledge
  • organization and management theory
  • reflexivity research methods
  • research practice


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