Habitat and habitus: boxed-in versus box-breaking research

Alvesson, Mats and Sandberg, Jorgen (2014) Habitat and habitus: boxed-in versus box-breaking research. Organization Studies, 35 7: 967-987. doi:10.1177/0170840614530916

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Author Alvesson, Mats
Sandberg, Jorgen
Title Habitat and habitus: boxed-in versus box-breaking research
Journal name Organization Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1741-3044
Publication date 2014-05-21
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0170840614530916
Open Access Status
Volume 35
Issue 7
Start page 967
End page 987
Total pages 21
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract This paper argues that scholarly work is increasingly situated in narrowly circumscribed areas of study, which are encouraging specialization, incremental adding-to-the-literature contributions and a blinkered mindset. Researchers invest considerable time and energy in these specialized areas in order to maximize their productivity and career prospects. We refer to this way of doing research and structuring careers as boxed-in research. While such research is normally portrayed as a template for good scholarship, it gives rise to significant problems in management and organization studies, as it tends to generate a shortage of novel and influential ideas. We propose box-breaking research as a strategy for how researchers and institutions can move away from the prevalence of boxed-in research and, thus, be able to generate more imaginative and influential research results. We suggest three versions: box changing, box jumping and, more ambitiously, box transcendence.
Keyword Box research
Box-breaking research specialization
Knowledge production
Social organization of science
Theory development
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 23 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 15 Jul 2014, 03:33:58 EST by System User on behalf of UQ Business School