New Knowledge Products as Bricolage: Metaphors and Scripts in Organizational Theory

Eva Boxenbaum, Linda Rouleau

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We argue that three epistemic scripts of knowledge production--evolution, differentiation, and bricolage--underpin the production--that is, the conception and the presentation--of new organizational theories. Bricolage of concepts, empirical material, and metaphors enables the conception of new theories, whereas evolution and differentiation, carrying higher academic legitimacy, predominate in theory presentation. We develop an integrative model and provide an illustration from organizational institutionalism to delineate how metaphors and scripts influence organizational theory production
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)272-296
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Organizational Sociology
  • Organizational Research
  • Organizational Legitimacy
  • Research
  • Empirical Research
  • Knowledge Management
  • Sociology of Knowledge
  • Theory
  • Epistemics
  • Methodology
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • Academic Discourse
  • Knowledge Gap Theory

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