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The performativity of theories

Gond, J-P. ORCID: 0000-0002-9331-6957 & Carton, G. (2022). The performativity of theories. In: Reihlen, M. & Schoeneborn, D. (Eds.), Handbook on the Epistemology of Management. . Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-48352-8_56-1


The purpose of this chapter is to explain how organization and management studies have built on and helped advance various streams of research dedicated to the performativity of theory – that is, how theory shapes the patterns of social interactions that constitute social reality. For that purpose, we distinguish two ideal-type positions that form the poles of a continuum of scholarship about theory performativity. These poles consist of approaching either performativity as a mindset—an onto-epistemic lens helpful to reconsider the nature or organizational phenomena and management concepts—or of analysing performativity as a social mechanism involved in the production and transformation of social reality for actors. By relying on illustrations from recent research, we specify the common core assumptions underlying both perspectives on performativity as well as their distinctive commitments to these assumptions, analytical foci, and contribution to organizational knowledge of performativity. We finally discuss how the insights generated at each pole of this continuum complement each other and can advance organizational and management studies of theory performativity.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This chapter is published in Handbook on the Epistemology of Management by Springer:
Publisher Keywords: Performativity, John Austin, Performativity as a Mindset, Performativity as a Social Mechanism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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