Organization and Management Theory OMT

JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT INQUIRY -- October 2023 and Jaunary 2024

  • 1.  JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT INQUIRY -- October 2023 and Jaunary 2024

    Posted 11-20-2023 13:12

    Articles featured in the October 2023 and January 2024 editions of the Journal of Management Inquiry are accessible via open access through February 2024. Noteworthy among them are two contributions.

    First, Miikka Lehtonen and Samuel Putkonen present "Towards 'Strong' Multimodality: How Graphic Novels Can Help Us Rethink Modes," a unique piece presented in the format of an actual graphic novel. 

    The second noteworthy contribution comes from Denny Gioia. Having served as the Provocations & Provocateurs section editor since its inception, all good things come an end. Passing the section editorship to David Hannah, Denny was invited to deliver one final provocation. True to his style, the piece is quintessentially Denny-thoughtful, catalytic, authoritative, and, as always, provocative. A sincere thank you to Denny for his commitment and exceptional contribution to JMI.

    OCTOBER 2023 – Volume 32, Issue 4


    The Social Effects of Entrepreneurship on Society and Some Potential Remedies: Four Provocations

    Tim Weiss, Robert Eberhart, Michael Lounsbury, Andrew Nelson, Violina Rindova, John Meyer, Patricia Bromley, Rachel Atkins, Trish Ruebottom, Jennifer Jennings, Dev Jennings, Madeline Toubiana, Angelique Slade Shantz, Niki Khorasani, Daniel Wadhwani, Hannah Tucker, David Kirsch, Brent Goldfarb, Howard Aldrich and Daniel Aldrich

    Vol. 32(4) 251–277

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231181555 

    A rapidly growing research stream examines the social effects of entrepreneurship on society. This research assesses the rise of entrepreneurship as a dominant theme in society and studies how entrepreneurship contributes to the production and acceptance of socio-economic inequality regimes, social problems, class and power struggles, and systemic inequities. In this article, scholars present new perspectives on an organizational sociology-inspired research agenda of entrepreneurial capitalism and detail the potential remedies to bound the unfettered expansion of a narrow conception of entrepreneurship. Taken together, the essays put forward four central provocations: 1) reform the study and pedagogy of entrepreneurship by bringing in the humanities; 2) examine entrepreneurship as a cultural phenomenon shaping society; 3) go beyond the dominant biases in entrepreneurship research and pedagogy; and 4) explore alternative models to entrepreneurial capitalism. More scholarly work scrutinizing the entrepreneurship–society nexus is urgently needed, and these essays provide generative arguments toward further developing this research agenda.

    Keywords: business & society, entrepreneurship, innovation, education, organization theory


    Towards "Strong" Multimodality: How Graphic Novels Can Help Us Rethink Modes

    Miikka J. Lehtonen and Samuel Putkonen

    Vol. 32(4) 278–294

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231174805 

    Prior literature has highlighted the multimodal nature of organizations and organizing. However, management and organization studies continue to be guided by institutionalized conventions that prioritize words over other modes. This overreliance on words has resulted in "weak" multimodality that treats modes sequentially and often favors one mode over others. In this essay, we use play as a theoretical lens to explore how researchers can use the graphic novel to blend modes to extend "strong" multimodality. By focusing on the liminality of words and images in graphic novels, we make two critical contributions to multimodal research. First, we identify three graphic novels' affordances researchers can use in MOS to attend to embodied and affective experiences (eroticize), contextualize when one mode is insufficient (narrativize), and demonstrate new ways of inquiry (theorize). Second, we elucidate how these affordances emerge from the researcher's playful engagement with modes to explore how they might work together.

    Keywords: graphic novel, knowledge production, multimodality, play


    How Buddhist Monks Use Historical Narratives to Delegitimize a Dominant Institutional Logic: The Case of a Korean Buddhist Organizational Field, 1910–1962

    Hee-Chan Song

    Vol. 32(4) 295–312

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926221099424 

    Historical narrative studies suggest that history can be strategically manipulated and narrated by current actors to facilitate change. The studies emphasize that history can be used as a source of narratives to serve present purposes. Building on the studies, this research investigates how leaders use history as a set of narratives to delegitimize a dominant logic, thus facilitating institutional change. The empirical context of this study is a Korean Buddhist organizational field during and after Japanese colonization between 1910 and 1962. This context allows to examine how a group of Korean monks with a peripheral logic (meditation logic) proactively used past stories, legends, and myths to delegitimize a dominant logic (service logic). Their narrative strategies are conceptualized in this study as reviving history, stigmatizing history, and invoking leaders from the past. In integrating the findings with the relevant literature, this research aims to contribute to historical narrative and institutional research.

    Keywords: institutional theory, organization theory, qualitative research, management history

    In the Boardroom: How Do Cognitive Frames Shape American and Dutch

    Hospitals' Responses to the Pressure of Adopting Governance Best Practices?

    Agota Szabo and Riku Ruotsalainen

    Vol. 32(4) 313–330

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926221109481 

    The literature on how organizations respond to institutional pressure has shown that the individual decision-makers' interpretation of institutional pressure played an important role in developing organizational responses. However, it has paid less attention to how this interpretation ultimately contributes to their range of organizational decisions when responding to the same institutional pressure. We address this gap by interviewing board members of U.S. and Dutch hospitals involved in adopting best practices regarding board evaluation. We found four qualitatively different cognitive frames that board members relied on to interpret institutional pressure, and which shaped their organizational response. We contribute to the literature on organizational response to institutional pressure by empirically investigating how decision-makers interpret institutional pressure, by suggesting prior experience and role definition as moderating factors of multidimensional cognitive frames, and by showing how these cognitive frames influence board members' response to the same institutional pressure.

    Keywords: health care, cognitive perspectives, top management teams/upper echelon, decision-making: individual/CEO, decision-making: team/organization


    Monday Mourning: A Call for the Study of Bereavement in the Workplace

    Diane M. Bergeron

    Vol. 32(4) 331–337

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231180416 

    Bereavement, the reaction to the loss of someone significant through death, is a challenging life event. Despite its prevalence, it is an understudied aspect of organizational life. The goal of this article is to encourage research on bereavement in the workplace. After providing a brief overview and definitions of key terms, I highlight themes of what we know about bereavement from work in the organizational sciences. I then suggest several generative directions for future work. Such research may alleviate some of the bereavement burden for employees by better addressing their needs and by developing more humane organizational policies and practices.

    Keywords: affect/emotions, organizational behavior, turnover


    Is There Still a Place for Space in Organization Studies?

    Ludovica Leone

    Vol. 32(4) 338–342

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231179324 

    Editor's Introduction: In the following essay, Ludovica Leone gives us lots of reasons why we should no longer assume that people work at an organizational "office" – even in a post-pandemic era. A lot of scholarly attention has been devoted recently to the physical design of offices, but perhaps that's a case of scholars arriving at the train station after the train already has departed. Recent developments (technological, biological, social, etc.) have quickly altered things. Changes from many different directions (including the recent introduction of Artificial Intelligence) are happening NOW. Can people and organizations keep up? Or was Toffler right in 1970 (if off by a few years) when he asserted that change is happening so quickly that it taxes our ability to adjust? If you are one of those people who assume that the past is still the best predictor of the future, maybe it's time for you to experience an attitude adjustment. Want a little slap in the face? Then read Ludovica's short-but-powerful essay; she considers a lot of stuff in a fashion that deserves your attention. – Denny Gioia

    JANUARY 2024 – Volume 33, Issue 1

    Truth and the Science of Management: Does the "Emperor" Still Have Any Clothes?

    Thomas A. Wright

    Vol. 33(1) 3–10

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231203518 

    Scholars have increasingly argued for the merits of advocacy-based research versus research considered from the pursuit of objective truth. In this essay, I seek to extend Tsang's Journal of Management Inquiry essay (2022) and suggest that political advocacy has replaced the pursuit of objective truth in management research. Through the use of example, I suggest that this focus on politically based advocacy will be detrimental to the continued professional development of the management discipline.

    Keywords: truth, advocacy, values

    Advocacy and the Search for Truth in Management Scholarship: Can the Twain Ever Meet?

    Thomas A. Wright, Kyle Emich, Jone L. Pearce, Stratos Ramoglou, Neal Ashkanasy, Jean M. Bartunek,

    Sven Kunisch, David Denyer, Nicolai J. Foss, Peter G. Klein, Sophia Town, John Hollwitz, Chet E. Barney, Peter Harms, Timothy P. Munyon, Gerard Seijts and Eric W.K. Tsang

    Vol. 33(1) 11–25

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231203522 

    Scholars have long debated the merits of advocacy-based research versus research considered from the quest for objective truth. Building upon reflections from multiple sources, a set of 11 brief reflections on three posed questions are presented. Tsang concludes our discussion with additional insights on how moving beyond the "interestingness" advocacy will be beneficial to the continued professional development of the management discipline.

    Keywords: academic freedom, advocacy, interestingness, kindness, scientific discourse, truth


    Don't Panic: Remaining El Capitan While Navigating Unpreparedness in Response to Extreme Events

    Stefan Gröschl and Jan Lepoutre

    Vol. 33(1) 26–45

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926221132174 

    Company leaders are frequently confronted with highly uncertain and risky situations for which they are often ill-prepared, and consequently, in which they often panic. Based on an exploratory case study of extreme rock climber Alexander Honnold, we have developed propositions that help decision-makers to learn to avoid panic in crises. Our findings suggest that gradual exposure to incrementally more challenging tasks by adjusting individual learning goals allows decision-makers to leverage existing skills, and to develop their physical, mental and emotional states simultaneously. Deliberate confrontation with the challenges that may trigger panic through real-life simulation and imagination helps decision-makers to retrain and transform triggers for panic responses, and to build systemic confidence. This organic and holistic growth provides decision-makers with the simultaneous preparation and mastery of their physical, mental, and emotional states to ensure the lightness and calmness necessary not to panic when facing a crisis.

    Keywords: decisions under risk/uncertainty, entrepreneurship, leadership, qualitative research, stress

    The Interpretation of Organizational Ontologies

    Guilherme Azevedo

    Vol. 33(1) 46–61

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231155104 

    What does it mean for an organization "to exist"? Building upon the philosophical notion of ontologies as theories of existence, I outline a theory of organizational ontology supported by the premise that organizations contain implicit existential conventions that provide their members with an understanding of what their joint existence is. This study aims to answer two questions. First, what constitutes an organizational ontology? Second, how can this be accessed and represented? Using a methodology informed by cultural interpretation, I ground this study empirically in ethnographic fieldwork at a not-for-profit organization devoted to teaching math to "left behind" children.

    Keywords: organizational ontology, ethnography, ontology, cultural interpretation, organizational culture, cosmology

    Transcendental and Material Silence: A Multimodal Study on Silence in Team Meetings

    Valérie M. Saintot and Miikka J. Lehtonen

    Vol. 33(1) 62–76

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231155110 

    Silence in management and organization studies has been predominantly understood as something negative. However, recent examples have highlighted silence as a positive element in learning and organizing. We contribute to prior literature on positive silence and multimodality by arguing silence can operate as a semiotic mode that mobilizes resources for meaning-making. Ten team meetings in a financial organization in Europe were investigated. Visual ethnography was mobilized to gather data through interviews, observations, and photographs. Our analysis identified two types of silence transcendental and material -that both function through three mechanisms to resemiotize meaning. A framework is presented to situate silence in relation to verbal and visual modes. Three contributions are made to studies on silence and multimodality: extended conceptualizations of silence, silence as a semiotic mode in itself, and methodological pathways for studying silence. In addition, practical implications for team meetings and silence in the workplace are discussed.

    Keywords: materiality, multimodality, silence, verbal communication, visual artefact


    Taboo Trade-Offs in the Community Business: The Case of Coworking

    Will M. Bennis and Marko Orel

    Vol. 33(1) 77–91

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231187292 

    The past 15 years has seen the rise of businesses that seek to sell community as a service. Relational Models Theory provides a compelling theoretical framework that suggests the prospect of selling or buying community may be prone to evoking cognitive, affective, and behavioral aversion among both sides in the exchange. This paper considers the coworking industry-a paradigmatic example of a business that promises to sell community-through the lens of Relational Models Theory. We use our personal experience as coworking space owners and community managers to explore challenges and conflicts that we, other community managers, and our members have encountered that may be inherent to trying to buy and sell community. Finally, we suggest tentative solutions to those challenges.

    Keywords: community management, coworking, Relational Models Theory, taboo trade-offs


    Collective Stupidity

    Denny Gioia

    Vol. 33(1) 92–93

    DOI: 10.1177/10564926231203846 

    Editor's Introduction: I have been editing the "Provocations and Provocateurs" section of JMI for nearly two decades. All good things must eventually come to an end, however, and the time for me to sing a swansong has finally arrived. To acknowledge the occasion, I have claimed the final essay for myself. I could have written something that was optimistic, pessimistic, or realistic; I have chosen the latter approach because my subject deserves no less. The topic is climate change and my stance is that global warming constitutes an existential issue, one that we need to treat realistically (although I admit that I am more pessimistic than optimistic about our collective ability to address the subject). – Denny Gioia

    The Editors and Editorial Board of JMI thanks Sage Publications for its generosity in sharing published articles openly. 

    Richard Stackman
    University of San Francisco
    San Francisco CA
    (415) 422-2148