The Decline of Organizational Sociology? An empirical analysis of research trends in leading journals across half a century
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCurrent Sociology. 2020, 68 (4), 419-442. 10.1177/0011392120907627
Recent works see organizational sociology at the brink of irrelevance. Against this backdrop, in this article the authors want to explore the current state of organizational sociology empirically. They employ a variety of manual, automated and semi-automated content analyses to examine research articles published in generalist sociology journals since the 1950s. Contrary to contemporary pessimistic assessments, the results indicate that organizational sociology has not significantly declined over time. However, the study finds an increasing concentration on quantitative research designs, business-related topics, and only two dominant theory perspectives – neo-institutionalism and the network approach. A multifaceted decrease in variety rather than an absolute decline could be the right diagnosis.