Alvesson, Mats: A Passion for Critical Reflexivity and Rational Change

Stefan Sveningsson*, Dan Kärreman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


By employing a critical perspective toward a broad range of organizational subjects, Mats Alvesson has managed to challenge much of the conventional understanding of modern organizations and, subsequently, produce a series of alternative insights that has substantially developed organizational research and potentially enabled both organizational and societal change. While this has included the establishing of a critical approach to management studies and several novel methodological ideas, it has also involved unpacking a variety of popular concepts such as culture, control, brand, identity, power, leadership, gender, method, and organizational change as such. Mostly based on in-depth empirical studies Alvesson has repeatedly shown the value of critically acknowledging the process by which these phenomenon are understood and acted upon in real-life complex and ambiguous organizations, an approach that have enabled not only a variety of alternative understandings of organizational life but also a sense of optimism about accomplishing progressive change. Consequently, Alvesson acknowledges the value of seeing the construction of knowledge as a combination of a technical, interpretative, and critical approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers
EditorsDavid B. Szabla
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9783030383237, 9783030383251
ISBN (Electronic)9783030383244
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Critical management studies
  • Reflexivity
  • Problematization
  • Mystery
  • Process
  • Leadership
  • Identity
  • Culture

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