Sunday, January 20, 2008

Organizational Studies: Interdisciplinary or Multidisciplinary?

Brayden King:

Organizational studies are supposed to be an interdisciplinary field that draws on economics, sociology, psychology, and other social sciences to better understand how organizations work. But is the field truly interdisciplinary or is it multidisciplinary, consisting of several disciplines having their own non-overlapping conversations?

In a recent article in the Academy of Management Journal, management scholars Rajshree Agarwal and Glenn Hoetker assess the relationship of the field to the disciplines. Their conclusion is that management theory, which is really a subset of organizational studies, has never fully integrated the disciplines and has continued down a path of multidisciplinarity.

Of all the disciplines, the one that has become most mainstream in management circles is sociology. Management scholars - people trained in business schools who don’t often cite articles from the disciplinary journals - are more likely to cite a sociology-based article in AMJ than they would cite a psychology or economics-based article.

Is the fact that there are not more economics citations a statement about organizational studies or about economics research?  It seems that many of the papers I've seen in economics are often highly irrelevant for application to the real world.  That is disappointing to me.

No comments: