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Pfeffer's Barriers to the Advance of Organizational Science: A Rejoinder
Albert A. Cannella, Jr. and Ramona L. Paetzold
The Academy of Management Review
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Apr., 1994), pp. 331-341
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/258708
Page Count: 11
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Pfeffer's (1993) discussion of the causes and consequences of paradigm development led him to the conclusion that organizational scholars should place control over publication into the hands of a comparatively small elite group who would force a consensus by excluding views that diverge from a dominant paradigm. In his view, this action would lead to a number of positive benefits for organizational scholars and organizational studies in general. We argue from a different set of assumptions than those of Pfeffer. In our view, knowledge is socially constructed, and, thus, scholars are unable to make unambiguous claims on some absolute truth. Given this assumption, the enforced consensus and dominant paradigm called for by Pfeffer would lead to a stagnation in knowledge evolution. Further, we argue that the concept of consensus and its role in the evolution of knowledge has been overstated. In contrast to Pfeffer, we conclude that a high degree of consensus, however achieved, would suggest that the evolution of knowledge has been slowed, not facilitated.
The Academy of Management Review © 1994 Academy of Management