Stances, Paradigms, Personae

Catherine Casler, Paul du Gay

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper argues that paradigmatic thinking in organization studies has failed to treat personhood as a central problematic within the research enterprise and that this oversight underlies a number of seemingly intractable field-level problems. We emphasise the centrality of personhood to the development and exercise of knowledge via three distinct but complementary projects: Ian Hunter’s investigation into «the moment of theory», Pierre Hadot’s exposition of «philosophy as a way of life», and Bas Van Fraassen’s reconceptualization of philosophical positions as «stances». The notion of «stance» provides a means for assimilating and differentiating otherwise distinct paradigms and thereby circumvents debates about paradigm incommensurability or the theory-practice dualism. Rather, the shift from «paradigms» to «stances» enables us to re-classify the field of organizational analysis according to new values-based criteria such that practical relevance and ethical seriousness can be restored.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudi di Sociologia
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Paradigms
  • Personhood
  • Knowledge
  • Philosophy
  • Organization

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