AOM OMT/BPS Session on Comparative Organizations

 Sponsor(s): (OMT, BPS)

Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 7 2007 10:30AM - 11:50AM at Philadelphia Marriott in Grand Ballroom D 

Organizer: Brayden G King; Brigham Young U.
Organizer: Teppo Felin; Brigham Young U.

Participant: David A. Whetten; Brigham Young U.
Participant: W. Richard Scott; Stanford U;
Participant: Howard Aldrich; U. of North Carolina;

Comparative Organizations: Its History, Promise, and Future Directions
Comparative Organizations

Although the study of organizations was once built on a comparative approach (see Weber, for example), our field has lost the comparative mandate. In this panel symposium, we will draw on the knowledge of three esteemed Academy members (Dick Scott, Howard Aldrich, and Dave Whetten) in a discussion of the revival of the comparative organizational approach and what it might mean to organizational scholarship. W. Richard Scott will first provide some historical context to the question of comparative organizations by highlighting past work which has been in a comparative vein, and by discussing why the comparative mandate was lost. Howard Aldrich will address why a comparative approach is needed in the contemporary literature. Finally David Whetten will address some of the obstacles that might impede the development of a comparative approach as well as possible solutions and future directions.

Key terms: organization theory , comparative organizations