How Cities Think: Thought Style, Thought Collective, and the Impact of Strategy

Renate Meyer, Martin Kornberger, Markus A. Höllerer

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


In this chapter, the authors introduce Ludwik Fleck and his ideas of “thought style” and “thought collective” to suggest a re-thinking of the divide between “micro” and “macro” that has perhaps more inhibited than inspired organization studies in general, and institutional theory in particular. With Fleck, the authors argue that there is no such thing as thought style-neutral cognition or undirected perception: meaning, constituted through a specific thought style shared by a thought collective, permeates cognition, judgment, perception, and thought. The authors illustrate our argument with the longitudinal case study of Sydney 2030 (i.e., the strategy-making process of the City of Sydney, Australia). The case suggests that – regardless of its actual implementation – a strategy is successful to the extent to which it shapes the socio-cognitive infrastructure of a collective and enables those engaged in city-making to think and act collectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMacrofoundations : Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
EditorsChristopher W. J. Steele, Timothy R. Hannigan, Vern L. Glaser, Madeline Toubiana, Joel Gehman
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9781839091605
ISBN (Electronic)9781839091599, 9781839091612
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesResearch in the Sociology of Organizations

Bibliographical note

Published 26 November 2020.


  • Ludwik Fleck
  • Thought style
  • Thought collective
  • Socio-cognitive infrastructure
  • Micro–macro debate
  • Institutional theory
  • Strategy

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