When Do Theories Become Self-Fulfilling? Exploring the Boundary Conditions of Performativity

Published on Jul 13, 2017in Academy of Management Review
· DOI :10.5465/AMR.2016.0071
Emilio Marti4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Oxford),
Jean-Pascal Gond35
Estimated H-index: 35
(City University London)
Sources
Abstract
Management researchers increasingly realize that some theories do not merely describe, but also shape social reality; a phenomenon known as "performativity." However, when theories become performative or even self-fulfilling is still poorly understood. Taking this gap in the research as our starting point, we develop a process model to show that new theories will only become self-fulfilling (1) if they motivate experimentation, (2) if experimentation produces anomalies, and (3) if these anomalies lead to a practice shift. On that basis, we identify six boundary conditions that determine whether theories will shape social reality. To illustrate our argument, we explore the conditions under which theories that postulate a positive link between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance may become self-fulfilling.
Download
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
173 Citations
205 Citations
823 Citations
References0
Newest
Cited By50
Newest
This paper identifies the performative elements present in the context of technological innovation and maps the social factors and the use of cognitive features in the innovation process. This identification explicitly addresses the entanglement of the material and social influences in the process, defines the agency of technological change, and focuses on the impact the nature of a technology has on the configuration of a market. A conceptual model of performativity in the innovation process is...
Source
#2Shaker A. Zahra (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 110
#3Andrew H. Van de Ven (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 74
Last. Michael A. Hitt (A&M: Texas A&M University)H-Index: 137
view all 4 authors...
3 CitationsSource
In this Point-Counterpoint series Filatotchev et al. (2021) and Bruton et al. (2021) discuss the shortcomings of management theories developed in the West when applied to non-Western contexts. Filatotchev et al. propose an ‘open systems perspective’ that can help contextualize management theory while Bruton et al. argue that even these emerging contextualized theories are embedded in a Western worldview and call for developing ‘indigenous theory’ that truly reflects local contexts.
Source
#1Daniel Muzio (Ebor: University of York)H-Index: 28
Source
#1Masoud Shadnam (UNNC: The University of Nottingham Ningbo China)H-Index: 5
Source
#1Vanessa Bowden (University of Newcastle)H-Index: 5
#2Jean-Pascal Gond (City University London)H-Index: 35
Last. Christopher Wright (USYD: University of Sydney)H-Index: 45
view all 4 authors...
Action on climate change continues to be hampered by vested interests seeding doubt about science and the need to reduce carbon emissions. Using a qualitative case study of local climate adaptation to sea level rise, we show how climate change science is translated into a self-referential theory focussed on property prices. Our analysis develops two mechanisms – enablement and theorization – to explain the relationship between theory performativity and power within a process of translation. This...
Source
Anticipation is part of organizational attempts to manage their future affairs and shape their surroundings. Still, the ways in which organizations engage in anticipation have not been sufficiently...
Source
#1Masoud Shadnam (MacEwan University)H-Index: 5
#2Andrey Bykov (HSE: National Research University – Higher School of Economics)H-Index: 2
Last. Ajnesh Prasad (Royal Roads University)H-Index: 14
view all 3 authors...
Over the last decade, scholars across the wide spectrum of the discipline of sociology have started to reengage with questions on morality and moral phenomena. The continued wave of research in this field, which has come to be known as the new sociology of morality, is a lively research program that has several common grounds with scholarship in the field of business ethics. The aim of this thematic symposium is to open constructive dialogues between these two areas of study. In this introductor...
2 CitationsSource
#1Sebastian Hafenbrädl (University of Navarra)H-Index: 5
#2Daniel Waeger (WLU: Wilfrid Laurier University)H-Index: 5
Abstract Why do many companies use a business case frame when referring to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities? Two experiments (N = 1687) show that using a business case frame makes for a better impression management strategy than moral frames. By signaling that CSR activities are driven by instrumental reasons, and therefore not diagnostic of a company's moral character, a business case frame (and also a hybrid frame) suppresses accusations of hypocrisy. Consequently, when c...
4 CitationsSource
#1James Faulconbridge (Lancaster University)H-Index: 37
#2Daniel Muzio (Ebor: University of York)H-Index: 28
Abstract Existing studies have developed increasingly sophisticated accounts of the performative agency of valuation devices and their effects on markets and organizations. In particular, research has focused on the work of different actors to legitimize valuation devices and ensure their adoption, which then leads to performativity. This paper extends work on the legitimacy and performativity of valuation devices by developing a dynamic, non-linear theorization of the boundary conditions of per...
Source