ME AND CAESAR GOT A GOOD THING GOING: ON BECOMING THE "ORGANIZATIONAL WHISPERER" THAT I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE

BOB L. JOHNSON JR.

Abstract


Using the professional expertise exhibited by a well-known celebrity as a metaphor, and consistent with the larger purpose of this volume, this essay represents an exercise in retrospective sense-making. In it, I reflect on my prolonged interaction with the field of organizational theory and how this interaction has come to frame my thinking as a professor housed in a professional school. These reflections are intentionally structured around four defining participles, all of which are informed by inferences drawn from observing the celebrity at work: knowing about organizations, reading organizations, theorizing about organizations, and synthesizing these activities toward the realization of what I call the normative organizational state. Individually and collectively these capture much of my journey in the ongoing pursuit of professional expertise as an organizational theorist. The essay concludes with a description of the relationships shared between these participles and the identification of potential lines of inquiry that follow from them in the field of educational leadership and policy.

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