That’s Useful!

How organizational research can escape the mystery house



Speakers: Prof Jerry Davis (Michigan) and Prof Stephen Barley (UC Santa Barbara)


The incentive system that confronts organizational scholars – what journals publish, what readers love, what tenure committees value – seems to value novelty over truth and being interesting over being useful. Some critics see little cumulative progress in knowledge over the past several decades. But is this diagnosis correct? And if it is, can it be fixed? Should it? In this session, we engage these questions in a lively dialogue.



  • Davis, G. F. (2015). Editorial Essay: What Is Organizational Research For? Administrative Science Quarterly, 60(2), 179–188.
  • Barley, S. R. (2016). 60th Anniversary Essay: Ruminations on How We Became a Mystery House and How We Might Get Out. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(1), 1–8.
  • Weick, K. E. (2016). 60th Anniversary Essay: Constrained Comprehending: The Experience of Organizational Inquiry. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(3), 333–346.


Time: Thursday, 24 March at 9am (Pacific) / 12am (Eastern) / 4pm (London). This webinar is scheduled for 90 minutes (including Q&A).


Registration: Please register here to receive a personalized Zoom link and a reminder prior to the event.



About the speakers:


Jerry Davis is the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Management & Organizations, Ross School of Business, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. He is a co-founder of RRBM and was once an editor of ASQ.


Stephen Barley is the Christian A. Filipe Professor Emeritus of Technology Management at the University of California Santa Barbara.  He co-founded the Center for Work, Technology and Organization at Stanford and was once an editor of ASQ.



For queries, please contact Ibrat Djabbarov i.djabbarov[at]