The article “Theory construction as a disciplined imagination” by Karl E. Weick aims to describe the process of theory construction in organizational studies. It criticizes the previous approaches, which saw evolutionary theory as applied to the organizational studies and attempted to recreate the process of artificial selection to explore and maintain the organizational structure.
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Paragraph three of section five (Weick, 2001, p. 520) continues the comparison addressed in the previous paragraph, where Weick indicates the likeliness of the relationship between theory construction and natural selection to the relationship between marine navigation and the radar. Paragraph three is particularly exciting and thought-provoking, as the author uses the familiar image and links it to the problems in organizational studies. Weick notes that theory construction relies on the evolutionary to avoid various obstacles just like a ship relies on its radar at night.
The author argues that, while the ship’s captain becomes detached from the surroundings in his reliance on the laser, researchers in the field of organizational studies become too invested in the evolutionary theory to notice changes to the environment that would affect the construction of their theories. The author then proposes an interesting solution: to change the selection criteria, by which both the researchers and the marine captains interpret the obstacles shown by the natural selection theory and marine radars. Weick claims that choosing only the conjunctures that are plausible and appropriate could solve many logical issues arising in the production of various organizational theories.
Overall, this paragraph is important as it achieves its informational purpose by creating a parallel between a difficult concept of organizational theory construction and the familiar subject of marine navigation. The author proposes an effective solution to the indicated problem and provokes the reader to think of the exact implications of such changes.