The Interlinking Theorization of Management Concepts: Cohesion and Semantic Equivalence in Management Knowledge

Markus A. Höllerer*, Dennis Jancsary, Vitaliano Barberio, Renate E. Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article develops the idea of ‘interlinking theorization’ in the context of management knowledge. We explain how management concepts are theorized through their direct co-occurrence with other management concepts, on the one hand, and their embeddedness in general business vocabulary, on the other. Conceptually, we extend a semantic network approach to vocabularies and suggest both cohesion between management concepts (i.e. a clustering in bundles) and their semantic equivalence (i.e. similar patterns of connectivity to general business vocabulary indicating specific types) as core dimensions of interlinking theorization. Empirically, we illustrate and further develop our conceptual model with data collected from magazines targeting management practitioners in the Austrian public sector. Our article contributes to existing literature by extending theorization to include different kinds of relationships between management concepts and focusing on direct and indirect relations across populations of management concepts as characteristics of the overall ‘architecture’ of management knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1284-1310
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: July 27, 2019


  • Cohesion
  • Management concepts
  • Management knowledge
  • Meaning
  • Semantic equivalence
  • Semantic network analysis
  • Theorization
  • Vocabulary approach

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