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Perspectives in Organizational Analysis - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 28 November 2022 at 09:00 to Friday 2 December 2022 at 16:00

Registration Deadline

Monday 28 November 2022 at 09:00


Room TBA, Campus TBA, 2000 Frederiksberg Room TBA
Campus TBA
2000 Frederiksberg

Perspectives in Organizational Analysis - 5 ECTS

Event Description


Professor with special responsibilities Anne Reff Pedersen
Associate Professor Lasse Folke Henriksen
Professor Jan Mouritsen
Associate Professor Kirstine Zinck Pedersen
Professor with special responsibilities Morten Thanning Vendelø
Professor with special responsibilities, PhD Sara Muhr
Professor Paul du Gay
Associate Professor Susanne Boch Waldorff

Course Coordinator
Susanne Boch Waldorff & Morten Thanning Vendelø


The PhD students must submit a five-pages (Equals a max of 11375 characters, incl. spa-ces) student paper, in which they select and relate two perspectives from the course lite-rature to their research project. The paper must include specific references to the literature applied. Deadline for submission of student papers is Friday November 11., 2022.

The student papers serve as input to discussions during the course, and the students must prepare for and participate in group work.

Also, the students must prepare and bring a poster to the course on the first day. The poster must illustrate their current research question, empirical case, data collection, and theoretical framework. We will post all posters in our course room, and encourage the students to use their poster, when they present their project, as well as when they discuss their project with other par-ticipants during breaks, etc.


This course introduces and familiarizes PhD students to a set of analytical perspectives, which are well-alive in contemporary organizational analysis. The core idea of the course is to give the PhD-students an opportunity to work with a variety of perspectives in organiza-tional analysis and engage in discussions of contemporary research and concepts within this field.

Course content

Our ambition is to enable PhD students to mobilize different analytical perspectives in or-ganizational theory and inspire them to ‘see’ something different and new in their own em-pirical work. Thus, the course seeks to increase participant’s reflexivity on the role of theo-ries in ‘making objects for research’.

The course will enable PhD students to work with theories as ‘tools’ for making research and empirical inquiries. However, theories are not innocent or neutral. They form and fra-me the phenomena being studied. Theories frame phenomena because they depict certain properties of entities as central (actors, meanings, and organizations), certain relations, certain developmental processes, and certain causalities (linear or non-linear). It is critical to understand how the choice of theory for organizational studies highlights certain enti-ties and processes, while others fade.

The observer and the object are not separate but co-produced in the research process, and the empirical data are not just ‘given out there’, as the researchers’ empirical data are con-structed through selection and edited based on the theoretical tools mobilized. Theories are not considered as something that has to be ‘proven’, but more as resources for ‘seeing, discussing, imagining’ interesting properties of the phenomena studied.

Theories are devices for making sense of phenomena – and at the same time the empirical field is a not a passive thing, because how researchers engage in an empirical field also sha-pes how they come to ‘see and understand’ phenomena.

The course will be explicit about how this new understanding can be linked to your own projects.

Teaching style
Dialogue lectures and group work

Lecture plan

Monday, November 28. 2022
– Introduction, Organizational Structures – Formal and Informal 

8.30 – 9.00  Coffee/ tea

9.00 – 10.00  Welcome, introduction to the course and presentation of participants - Morten Thanning Vendelø and Susanne Boch Waldorff

10.00 – 12.00 Formal Organization - Professor Paul du Gay 

12.00 – 12.45 Group Work I

12.45 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.30 The Network Perspective - Associate Professor Lasse Folke Henriksen

15:30 – 16:00  Reflections on the Day

Tuesday, November 29. 2022
– The Institutional perspective and the Sensemaking Perspective

 8.30 – 9.00 Coffee/tea

9.00 – 11.00 The Institutional Perspective - Associate Professor Susanne Boch Waldorff

11.00 – 12.00 Group Work II

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch + Walk and Talk

13.00 – 15.00 The Sense-Making Perspective - Professor Morten Thanning Vendelø

15.00 – 16.00  Group Work III + Reflections on the Day 

18.00 –       Dinner

Wednesday, November 30. 2022
– Organizational Identity and Organizational Time

8.30 – 9.00 Coffee/tea

9.00 – 11.00 The Pragmatism and Practice Perspective -  Associate Professor Kirstine Zinck Pedersen 

11.00 – 12.00 Group Work IV

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch + Walk and Talk

13.00 – 15.00  The Profession Perspective - Professor Anne Reff Pedersen 

15.00 – 16.00  Group Work V + Reflections on the Day

Thursday, December 1. 2022
– Actor-Network theory and the Critical Management Perspective

8.30– 9.00  Coffee/tea

9.00 – 11.00 The Critical Management Perspective - Professor Sara Louise Muhr 

11.00 – 12.00 Group Work VI

12.00 – 13.00  Lunch + Walk and Talk

13.00 – 15.00  Actor-Network Theory - Professor Jan Birkelund Mouritsen

15.00 – 16.00 Group Work VII + Reflections on the Day

Friday, December 2. 2022
– How theories define and privilege certain ways to understand and study organizations

8.30 – 9.00 Coffee/tea
9.00 – 12.00 Course wrap up. Reflections on:
- What kind of research questions are relevant and possible to ask in each perspective?
- How do organization theories make certain properties of the object ‘organization’ visible and analyzable - how may this influence the research design?
- How has your participation in the course changed how you think about your Ph.D.-project?

Group Work: 9.00-10.30
Wrap-Up in Plenum: 10.40-11.40
Evaluation 11.40-12.00

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch 

Learning objectives

After participating in the course, the students will be able to:

  • Critically reflect on how the choice of theory for organizational analysis brings certain entities and processes into the foreground while others recede into the background.
  • Account for the theoretical positions presented in the course and critically reflect on how they can be applied in their Ph.D.-projects.
  • Account for contemporary debates in organization theory and know how their projects are positioned in relation to these debates.



Start date

End date




Course Literature

Tentative Course literature

  • Barnard, (1938/1968) The Functions of the ExecutiveHarvard University Press: Chapter VI – The Definition of Formal Organization (pp. 65-81) – and Chapter VII – The Theory of Formal Organization (pp. 82-95).
  • Urwick, L. (1967) Why Do We Need Formal Organization?

  • du Gay, P. & Vikkelsø, S. (2017)For Formal Organization: the past in the present and the future of Organization Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Chapter 6 Authority and Authoriza-tion pp. 150-173).
  • Podolny, J. M., & Page, K. L. (1998) Network Forms of Organization. Annual Review of Sociolo-gy, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 57-76.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1977) The Strength of Weak Ties. In: Social networks(pp. 347-367). Acade-mic Press.
  • Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977) Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure and Myth and Ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, vol. 83, no. 3, pp. 340-363.
  • Johansen, C. B., & Waldorff, S. B. (2017) What are Institutional Logics - and Where is the Perspec-tive Taking Us? In: C. Mazza, R. Meyer, G. Krucken & P. Walgenbach (eds.), New Themes in Insti-tutional Analysis: Topics and Issues from European Research. Chelterham: Edward Elgar, pp. 51-76.
  • Waldorff, S. B. (2013) Accounting for Organizational Innovations: Mobilizing Institutional Logics in Translation. Scandinavian Journal of Management, vol. 29, no. 3, pp 219-234.
  • Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Obstfeld, D. (2005) Organizing in the Process of Sensemaking. Or-ganization Science, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 409-421.
  • Vendelø, M. T. (2016) Disasters in the Sensemaking Perspective: The Præstø Fjord Accident. In: R. Dahlberg, O. Rubin & M. T. Vendelø (eds.) Disaster Research – Multidisciplinary and Internatio-nal Perspectives. London: Routledge, pp. 176-188.
  • De Rond, M., Holeman, I., & Howard-Grenville, J. (2019) Sensemaking from the body: An enactive ethnography of rowing the Amazon. Academy of Management Journal, vol. 62, no. 6, pp. 1961-1988.
  • Cohen M D. (2007) Reading Dewey: Reflections on the Study of Routine.Organization Studies, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 773-786.
  • Pedersen, K. Z. (2018). Learning in Patient Safety inOrganizing Patient Safety: Failsafe Fantasies and Pragmatic Practices. Palgrave Macmillan. Health, Technology and Society, chapter 6.
  • Noordegraaf, M. (2015).Hybrid professionalism and beyond:(New) Forms of public professionalism in changing organizational and societal contexts. Journal of Professions and Organization2(2), 187-206.
  • Andersson, T., & Liff, R. (2018). Co-optation as a response to competing institutional logics: Professionals and managers in healthcare. Journal of Professions and Organization5(2), 71-87.
  • Mik-Meyer, N. (2018). Organizational Professionalism: Social Workers Negotiating Tools of NPM. Professions and Professionalism8(2), e2381-e2381.
  • Latour, B. (1984) The Powers of Association. The Sociological Review vol. 32, pp. 264-280.
  • Mouritsen, J., Hansen, A., & Hansen, C. Ø. (2009). Short and long translations: Management accounting calculations and innovation management. Accounting, Organizations and Society34(6-7), 738-754.
  • Mol, A. (2010) Actor-Network Theory: Sensitive Terms and Enduring Tensions. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, vol. 50, no. 1 pp. 253-269.
  • Alvesson, M., Bridgman, T. & Willmott, H. (2011) Introduction. In: M. Alvesson, T. Bridgman & H. Willmott (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Critical Management Studies. Oxford: Oxford Uni-versity Press.
  • Muhr, S. L. & Kirkegaard, L. (2013) The Dream Consultant: Productive Fantasies at Work. Cultu-re & Organization, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 105-123.
  • Muhr, S. L. & Salem, A. (2013) Specters of Colonialism – Illusionary Quality and the Forgetting of History in a Swedish Organization. Management & Organizational History, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 62-76.

Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475