Parochialism in the Evolution of a Research Community: The Case of Organization Studies



abstract  The organizations research community is a multidisciplinary, multinational and multilingual association of scholars with all the paraphernalia of international exchange. Nevertheless, it is a community that is organized in a geographically fragmented way, with linguistic, national, cultural and regional boundaries separating relatively autonomous scholarly communities. Although this fragmentation limits the integration of organization studies, it serves an adaptive role in making the resistance of deviant ideas to the homogenizing tendencies of dominant scholarly groups easier. The effective use of such differentiation, however, requires linkages among the fragmented parts of the field. We consider some ways of thinking about how research boundaries can be both sustained and violated, with particular attention to the emergence of Chinese scholarship in the study of organizations.