Exploring the Intra-organizational Journey of a Vague Management Concept through a Translation Theory Lens

Åsa Devine, Michaela Sandell

Abstract

In the quest for change, management at times introduces vague management concepts in organizations. The use of such a concept instigates translation journeys, which may end in affecting an organizations competitive advantage. While performance outcomes of change are pertinent, it is the journey towards change that is emphasized here based on translation theory. This study explores the intra-organizational journey of the vague concept “knowledge platform” within a business school. The empirical data originates from 102 written documents dating from 2009 to 2018 produced by faculty and departmental levels. The data coding reveals six distinct subseries which together depicts how the knowledge platform passes through phases of de-contextualization and contextualization as it travels iteratively between the source and recipient contexts.

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