Essai: On Paragrammatic Uses of Organizational Theory - A Provocation

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Having indicated some of the recurring difficulties in establishing a conceptual or philosophical link between theory and practice, the author examines the relation between organization theory and the practices of academics, managers and other organizational participants. He argues that this relation is shaped by the way organizational theories are disseminated in the face of an expanding hegemony of consumerization and consumerism. Like other commodities, organizational theories are not used passively, in general, but in a creative, opportunistic and individualistic way. In this, they resemble folk knowledge, such as cooking recipes and cookery books, which different users employ or experiment with in widely differing ways, for widely differing ends. In contrast to both programme and paradigm, the author uses the term 'paragramme' to indicate a shifting stock of ideas, routines, images and ingredients which invite improvization and elaboration, rather than copying or adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-151
Number of pages19
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Bricolage
  • Consumption
  • Paradigms
  • Paragrammes
  • Practice
  • Programmes
  • Recipes
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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