Title: The ontological and epistemological turn in organisation studies

Authors: Alejandra Moreno-López; Juan Emilio Torres

Addresses: Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Económicas, CIECS UNC-CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Valparaíso s/n, Ciudad de Valparaíso s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba, CP: X5000HRV, Argentina ' Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Económicas, CIECS UNC-CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Valparaíso s/n, Ciudad de Valparaíso s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba, CP: X5000HRV, Argentina

Abstract: A change in the way of thinking about organisations has given rise to a plethora of theoretical debates seeking to explore the duality in the understanding of organisations as entities or as the continuous flux of organisational life, and has produced changes in the dominant ontological and epistemological assumptions of organisation studies. To shed a light on this field of studies, this narrative literature review examines these changes, from the acceptance of an organisation as an entity to that of a flexible, constantly changing organisation, and from simplifying to complexifying theories. Finally, it aims to contribute to enriching the theoretical development by recognising the importance of the underlying complexity in human action and of the situational and the unique that emerge within organisational phenomena.

Keywords: organisation studies; ontological turn; epistemological turn; complexity; literature review.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2020.110886

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2020 Vol.19 No.4, pp.408 - 425

Received: 05 Nov 2019
Accepted: 18 Feb 2020

Published online: 28 Oct 2020 *

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