Aims and Scope


Organization Studies, published in collaboration with the European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS), aims to promote the understanding of organizations, organizing, and the organized in and between societies, through the publication of double-blind peer-reviewed, top quality theoretical and empirical research. OS is a multidisciplinary journal, rooted in the social sciences, inspired by diversity, comparative in its outlook, and open to paradigmatic plurality. Although a journal of European roots, it is currently global in its reach, which is reflected in its highly international and geographically dispersed editorial structure and decentralized mode of operation.

Our commitments

We are committed to making OS the hub of a learning community of authors, reviewers, editors and readers, whose defining characteristics are a passion for ideas, open-minded intellectual curiosity, collegiate critique, and uncompromising adherence to the highest scholarly standards.

Our Intellectual Signature (adapted from the Editorial, Organization Studies, 24/7, September 2003)

"...While strongly committed to intellectual pluralism, Organization Studies particularly encourages contributions that are animated by an "ecological" style of analysis. The ecological style seeks to embrace complexity rather than reduce it; is sensitive to process, context, and time; wants to make links between abstract analysis and lived experience; is aware of the reality-shaping rather than mere representational function of language; it accepts chance and feedback loops as constitutive features of social life; and seeks ways of reconnecting the inside and outside, routine and novelty, stability and change, agency and structure, body and mind, ethics and science, discourse and action, the social and the economic.


The interconnectedness of the world, a central plank of the ecological vision, is mirrored intellectually in the effort to find ways of borrowing insights from different disciplines, in order to better illuminate organizational phenomena. An appreciation of the profoundly social, historically shaped, context-sensitive and process-dependent nature of organizing enables researchers to draw on fields as diverse as institutional, evolutionary and Austrian economics; history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, political science and anthropology. If we view organizations not as abstract systems but as socially situated, dynamic systems of authoritative coordination, we are much more at liberty to try to join together individual cognition with social interaction, cultural norms with institutional practices, discourse with action, economic behaviour with institutional constraints and individual action, continuity with change.


The task ahead for organizational researchers is indeed to find creative ways of merging insights from diverse disciplines into coherent and comprehensive theories of organizational phenomena. In that sense OS will continue judging (as well as inviting) submissions in terms of the extent to which they incorporate insights and are grounded upon the social sciences at large. We not only intend to maintain the social scientific character of papers published in OS – a long-standing feature of the journal – but to expand it and urge researchers to find ever more imaginative and coherent ways of merging insights from all over the social and economic sciences, and the humanities, in so far as they are helpful to better understand particular organizational phenomena.


By remaining open to different kinds of theory and methodology, and encouraging, at the same time, the ecological style of analysis, we want to strengthen the generation of new ideas and encourage exploration. In the global division of academic labour OS is closer to the side of "exploration" than "exploitation". We think that what the field is missing is less a matter of yet more hypothesis-testing research, or another mundane case study, and more a need for new ways for making sense of the world.


Intellectual novelty, however, is not just a question of purely conceptual speculation or playful inventiveness, but a creative interplay between new data and new thinking. We will continue to invite both conceptual and empirical papers, and, like David Hickson and all his successors, the questions we will keep asking are: "Does this piece of research draw on a distinct theoretical tradition on which it seeks to contribute? How does it advance our theoretical understanding of the phenomenon at hand? What revealing data, rigorously collected and analysed, are presented? What is new and challenging here?"..."


New Features

  • Vita Contemplativa. Distinguished organizational theorists describe their work and the intellectual and institutional contexts within which they developed their ideas, theories, and perspectives. Contributors include: Chris Argyris, Karl Weick, William Starbuck, Andrew Pettigrew, Iain Mangham, and several others.
  • Peripheral Vision. Leading social scientists and humanities scholars put forward new ideas, perspectives and frameworks, which are of potential relevance to organizational researchers. Papers to be included here are "peripheral" in the best sense of the term - namely, they are not part of the mainstream of the field - and by being so, they will hopefully challenge organizational researchers to think differently. Contributors include: Paul Duguid, Jean Lave, Magoroh Maruyama, Charles Sabel, Nicos Mouzelis, Robert Solomon, John Shotter, Theodore Schatzki, and several others.
  • Essais. The "Essai" section has been a long-standing and exciting feature of the journal. We continue to welcome papers written as essays, which are creative, thought-provoking, and issue-driven.