Who’s Afraid of Organization? Concepts, Process and Identity Thinking

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    205 Downloads (Pure)


    This article argues that we should not abandon the noun ‘organization’ in favour of the verb ‘organizing’ in order to capture processes of change, flow and movement, but instead explore how such processes reveal themselves when the concept of organization diverges from the objects it is supposed to encapsulate. Here I make use of Adorno’s critique of identity thinking in order to show how the experience of organizational phenomena remains trapped within a contradiction: concepts are needed to describe objects even though concepts can never fully exhaust the objects they describe. However, I maintain that it is precisely this discrepancy between concepts and objects that provides us the opportunity to experience the elusive state of organizations and their processual nature. Consequently, this article shows how organizational phenomena are always more complex, temporal and dynamic than what the concept of organization permits us to grasp.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhilosophy of Management
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)303-319
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 26. October 2017


    • Process theory
    • Verb-noun
    • Identity thinking
    • Concepts
    • Negative dialectics
    • Organization

    Cite this