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Perspectives in Organizational Analysis - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 27 November 2023 at 09:00 to Friday 1 December 2023 at 16:00

Registration Deadline

Monday 13 November 2023 at 23:55


Kilen - room KL4.74 (fourth floor), Kilevej 14A, 2000 Frederiksberg Kilen - room KL4.74 (fourth floor)
Kilevej 14A
2000 Frederiksberg

Perspectives in Organizational Analysis - 5 ECTS

Course coordinators: Susanne Boch Waldorff & Morten Thanning Vendelø, Department of Organization (IOA)


Professor with special responsibilites Anne Reff Pedersen
Department of Organization, CBS

Associate professor Lasse Folke Henriksen
Department of Organization, CBS

Professor Jan Mouritsen
Departgment of Operations Management, CBS

Associate professor Kirstine Zinck Pedersen
Department of Organization, CBS

Professor with special responsibilites Morten Thanning Vendelø
Department of Organization, CBS

Professor Sara Muhr
Department of Organization, CBS

Associate professor Susanne Boch Waldorff
Department of Organization, CBS

Associate professor Thomas Lopdrup-Hjorth
Department of Organization, CBS

Prerequisite, progression of the course

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 Wednesday November 15., 2023.

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 organizational analysis and engage in discussions of contemporary research and concepts within this field.


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. 

Preliminary Lecture plan

You find the week-program for the course here.

Monday: Introduction (Susanne Boch Waldorff & Morten Thanning Vendelø), Formal organizations (Thomas Lopdrup-Hjorth) and The Network Perspective (Lasse Folke Henriksen).

Tuesday: The Institutional Perspective (Susanne Boch Waldorff) and The Sensemaking Perspective (Morten Thanning Vendelø).

Wednesday: The Pragmatism and Practice Perspective (Kirstine Zinck Pedersen) and Professions in an Organizational Context (Anne Reff Pedersen)

Thursday: The Critical Management Perspective (Sara Muhr) and Actor-Network Theory (Jan Birkelund Mouritsen)

Friday: How theories define and privilege certain ways to understand and study orga-nizations (Susanne Boch Waldorff & Morten Thanning Vendelø)


Teaching Style

Dialogue lectures and group work


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.


Tentative Course literature

•      March, J. G. (2005) Parochialism in the evolution of a research community: The case of organi-zation studies. Management and Organization Review, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 5-22.

•      Barnard, C. (1938/1968) The Functions of the Executive Harvard 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 as 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 in Organizing Patient Safety: Failsafe Fanta-sies and Pragmatic Practices. Palgrave Macmillan. Health, Technology and Society, chapter 6.

•      Dewey, J. (1922) Habit and Intelligence: The Place of Intelligence in Conduct. In: Human Nature and Conduct. New York: Prometheus Books, pp. 172-180.

•      Noordegraaf, M. (2015). Hybrid professionalism and beyond:(New) Forms of public profess-sionalism in changing organizational and societal contexts. Journal of Professions and Organi-zation, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 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 Organization, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 71-87.

•      Mik-Meyer, N. (2018). Organizational professionalism: Social workers negotiating tools of NPM. Professions and Professionalism, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 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 Socie-ty, vol. 34, no. 6-7, pp. 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. Culture & 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.

Note: Maximum 20 - in case of over-booking priority will be given to students who are 1,5 year or less into the PhD-study. In case we receive more registrations for the course than we have seats, CBS PhD students will have first priority. Remaining seats will be filled on a first come first serve.

Registration deadline and conditions

The registration deadline is 15 October 2023. If you want to cancel your registration on the course it should be done prior to this mentioned date. By this date we determine whether we have enough registrations to run the course, or who should be offered a seat if we have received too many registrations.

If there are more seats available on the course we leave the registration open by setting a new regsitration deadline in order to fill remaining seats. Once you have received our acceptance/welcome letter to join the course, your registration is binding and we do not refund your course fee. The binding registration date will be the registration deadline mentioned above.

Payment methods
Make sure you choose the correct method of payment upon finalizing your registration:
CBS students:
Choose payment method CBS PhD students and the course fee will be deducted from your PhD course budget.
Students from other Danish universities: 
Choose payment method Danish Electronic Invoice (EAN). Fill in your EAN number, attention and possible purchase (project) order number.
Do you not pay by EAN number please choose Invoice to pay via electronic bank payment (+71). 
Students from foreign universities:
Choose payment method Payment Card. Are you not able to pay by credit card please choose Invoice International to pay via bank transfer. 

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