Theory's Best Practice

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Abstract

Why is theorizing important? What does it do? This note reflects on the broad question of what we do when we theorize, taking its starting point from the Greek notion of theoria. The argument is that theorizing as an uncertain journey, i.e. as a form of travelling along a path towards the unknown or unfamiliar, has unjustly fallen into disrepute. The notion of ‘theory’ is today primarily associated with methodology and the ideas of a fixed path or a stable position. But this is not the only type of theory that critical organization studies needs. In this paper I consider how the notions of ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ theory can help us understand the role of theorizing in organization. Theory’s best practice involves making us see and think differently, and this, in a sense, is as practical as it gets
Original languageEnglish
JournalEphemera: Theory & politics in organization
Volume21
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
ISSN1473-2866
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Theory
  • Practice
  • Theoria
  • Seeing
  • Culture war
  • Climate change

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