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Reducing Uncertainty in Scholarly Publishing: Concepts in the Field of Organization Studies, 1960-2008

Suleika Bort and Simone Schiller-Merkens

Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), 2011, vol. 63, issue 4, 337-360

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the dynamics in the field of organization studies. We focus on the market for scholarly publishing and trace how many and which kinds of concepts have been developed and diffused in publications over the last 48 years. We argue that scholars in the publishing market must deal with two kinds of uncertainty: uncertainty on the delicate balance of maintaining research that is both novel and attentive to existing schools of thought, and uncertainty related to the heterogeneity of institutional logics that guide research in the field. We propose that concepts are a means of uncertainty reduction for two reasons. First, working with concepts allows considering both novelty and continuity. Second, working with concepts in a way that follows the dominant field logic helps to reduce uncertainty about what is valued as publishable in the field. We find that the number of concept articles in organization studies has increased, particularly concept articles that align with the dominant logic of positivism.

Keywords: Concept; Institutional Logic; Organization Studies; Positivism; Publish or Perish; Uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N01 Y8 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:sbr:abstra:v:63:y:2011:i:4:p:337-360