Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
This paper examines the relationship between organization science and managerial practice. Science and practice are viewed as interdependent, yet semiautonomous, domains which engage in their own specialized forms of discourse or “language games.” The paper examines both the internal dynamics of these language games and the relationship between them. The analysis suggests a reinterpretation of the role played by organizational scientists in relation to practitioners. Organizational scientists should be viewed not as engineers offering technical advice to managers but as providers of conceptual and symbolic language for use in organizational discourse. This view's implications for enhancing the relationship between organization science and managerial practice is discussed.