This coincides with calls that abound for organisation scholars to assume a more engaged societal role by breaking away from
a narrow, paradigm-driven “theory fetish” and instead, contribute to solving grand challenges and societal problems (Biggart,
2016). Scholars have critiqued that too much organizational research is making trivial additions that are only meaningful
to “tiny research micro-tribes” rather than illuminating a social phenomenon in an original, impactful and insightful way
(Alvesson, Gabriel, & Paulsen, 2017). Theorizing, in this view, is done “at the expense of producing “socially valuable knowledge
contributions” (Alvesson et al., 2017: 27).
However, research with societal impact is also often underpinned by strong and innovative approaches to creating knowledge.
Thus, the task is not to de-theorize but to expand our ways of knowing, and thereby offer new methodologies and approaches
to theorizing. This SWG seeks to do exactly this: Mobilize the EGOS community to jointly work on expanding and developing
our ways of knowing to do impactful research and thereby co-create the future; and to actively feed forward soci(et)al change.
Our aim is not to dismiss current methodologies and approaches to theorizing, but recognize their limitations and expand our
approach to addressing grand challenges in rigorous and relevant ways.
With the aim to expand our ways of knowing that can co-create desirable futures, we face certain challenges. The future poses
one peculiar problem: By definition, it is not here yet. Thus, the quest to contribute to the construction of a future social
reality raises some fundamental questions: Do we actually need to wait until something exists before we can theorize it? Or
can we ex ante theorize, say, a post-COVID-19 world or think through the consequences of a society radically shaped by artificial
To put it differently, the conundrum we face is the following: As an empirical social science, organizational