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Habitat and Habitus: Boxed-in versus Box-Breaking Research

Alvesson, Mats LU and Sandberg, Joergen (2014) In Organization Studies 35(7). p.967-987
Abstract
This paper argues that scholarly work is increasingly situated in narrowly circumscribed areas of study, which are encouraging specialization, incremental adding-to-the-literature contributions and a blinkered mindset. Researchers invest considerable time and energy in these specialized areas in order to maximize their productivity and career prospects. We refer to this way of doing research and structuring careers as boxed-in research. While such research is normally portrayed as a template for good scholarship, it gives rise to significant problems in management and organization studies, as it tends to generate a shortage of novel and influential ideas. We propose box-breaking research as a strategy for how researchers and institutions... (More)
This paper argues that scholarly work is increasingly situated in narrowly circumscribed areas of study, which are encouraging specialization, incremental adding-to-the-literature contributions and a blinkered mindset. Researchers invest considerable time and energy in these specialized areas in order to maximize their productivity and career prospects. We refer to this way of doing research and structuring careers as boxed-in research. While such research is normally portrayed as a template for good scholarship, it gives rise to significant problems in management and organization studies, as it tends to generate a shortage of novel and influential ideas. We propose box-breaking research as a strategy for how researchers and institutions can move away from the prevalence of boxed-in research and, thus, be able to generate more imaginative and influential research results. We suggest three versions: box changing, box jumping and, more ambitiously, box transcendence. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
box research, box-breaking research specialization, boxed-in, knowledge, production, social organization of science, theory development
in
Organization Studies
volume
35
issue
7
pages
967 - 987
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000337958000002
  • scopus:84902988197
ISSN
1741-3044
DOI
10.1177/0170840614530916
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
764de67e-a35b-46fa-a74b-448d38e34de7 (old id 4608995)
date added to LUP
2014-08-28 16:47:33
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:26:06
@article{764de67e-a35b-46fa-a74b-448d38e34de7,
  abstract     = {This paper argues that scholarly work is increasingly situated in narrowly circumscribed areas of study, which are encouraging specialization, incremental adding-to-the-literature contributions and a blinkered mindset. Researchers invest considerable time and energy in these specialized areas in order to maximize their productivity and career prospects. We refer to this way of doing research and structuring careers as boxed-in research. While such research is normally portrayed as a template for good scholarship, it gives rise to significant problems in management and organization studies, as it tends to generate a shortage of novel and influential ideas. We propose box-breaking research as a strategy for how researchers and institutions can move away from the prevalence of boxed-in research and, thus, be able to generate more imaginative and influential research results. We suggest three versions: box changing, box jumping and, more ambitiously, box transcendence.},
  author       = {Alvesson, Mats and Sandberg, Joergen},
  issn         = {1741-3044},
  keyword      = {box research,box-breaking research specialization,boxed-in,knowledge,production,social organization of science,theory development},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {967--987},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Organization Studies},
  title        = {Habitat and Habitus: Boxed-in versus Box-Breaking Research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840614530916},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2014},
}