Sub-Plenary 2-5

The Imperfections and Beauty of Theory

When:  Friday, July 8, 2022, 16:00–17:30 CEST
Where: WU Vienna {building/room: tba}

The Platonic ideals of Goodness, Truth and Beauty have guided philosophical thought for centuries. In organization theory, a crude adaptation might equate the quest for truth with rigor and the quest for goodness with relevance, but what space does that leave for beauty?
 
We envisage this sub-plenary session to tackle various aspects of beauty and perfection as they relate to our theories and forms of theorizing.

  • If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what constitutes “beautiful” theory? Is beauty even a relevant category for theorizing?

  • Are there trade-offs between truth, goodness, and beauty in terms of creating “perfect” theories?

  • And, if so, what does perfection entail; an ever-increasing abstraction or a rich and detailed narration of organizational life as it is lived and experienced?

  • How can we make room for more diverse theories and forms of theorizing?

  • Do dominant understandings of truth, goodness, and beauty prevent certain forms of knowledge from being considered, and certain forms of theorizing from being published?

  • And, finally, how do our understandings of article formats and conceptions of good writing affect what we consider as beautiful forms of theorizing; can a theoretical product be judged as separate from such practices, or do such form-related aspects determine the perceived quality of the theorizing as a whole?

ORGANIZER:

Ruth V. Aguilera

Professor
Northeastern University, USA

ORGANIZER:

Joep P. Cornelissen

Professor
Erasmus University, The Netherlands

Panelist:

Santi Furnari

Professor
Bayes Business School,
United Kingdom


Panelist:

Maja Korica

Associate Professor
Warwick Business School,
United Kingdom


Panelist:

Sherry Thatcher

Professor & Editor-in-Chief of AMR
University of South Carolina,
USA