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.

Full Text:



Aldrich, H. (2008). Organizations and environments. Stanford, California: Stanford Business Books.

Argyis, C. (1999). Flawed advice and the management trap: How managers can know when they’re getting good advice and when they’re not. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Argyis, C. (1992). On organizational learning, 2nd Edition. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell.

Argyis, C. (1978). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. New York, NY: Addison-Wesley.

Argyis, C., & Schon, D. (1982). Reasoning, learning, and action: Individual and organizational. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Argyis, C., & Schon, D. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Barnard, C. (1938). The functions of the executive. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Benner, P. (2001). From novice to expert: Excellent and power in clinical nursing practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Health.

Blau, P., & Scott, W. R. (1962). Formal organizations: A comparative approach. San Francisco, CA: Chandler Publishing.

Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (1984). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Dewey, J. (1923). The quest for certainty: A study of the relation of knowledge and action. New York, NY: Minton, Balch, and Company.

Dewey, J. (1910). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston, MA: Heath & Co.

Dreyfus, S. & Dreyfus, H. (1980). A five-stage model of the mental activities involved in directed skill acquisition. Washington, DC: United States Air Force of Office of Scientific Research.

Fairhurst, G., & Star, R. (1996). The art of framing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Friedson, E. (1986). Professional powers: A study of the institutionalization of formal knowledge. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Gadamer, H. (1982). Truth and method. New York, NY: Crossroad.

Groopman, J. (2007). How doctors think. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Hatch, M. J. (2006). Organization theory: Modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives, 2nd Edition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Johnson, Jr., B. (2014a). Theology as art: Exploring and articulating the artistry of practical theology. Annual Meeting of the Society of Pentecostal Studies, Springfield, MO.

Johnson, Jr., B. (2014b). Phronetic intelligence in the profession: Attending to the art of leadership in administrative preparation. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.

Johnson, Jr., B. (2011). Restoring the art in practical theology: Problematicizing approaches to professional theological education. Annual Meeting of the Society of Pentecostal Studies, Memphis, TN.

Johnson, Jr., B. (2004). Where have all the flowers gone? Reconnecting leadership preparation with the field of organization theory. UCEA Review, XLVI(3), 16-21.

Johnson, Jr., B., & Kruse, S. (2009). Decision making for educational leaders: Under-examined dimensions and issues. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Lawrence, P., & Lorsch, J. (1986). Organization and environment: Managing differentiation and integration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School.

Leavitt, H. (1965). Applied organizational change in industry: Structural, technological, and humanistic approaches. In J. March (Ed.), Handbook of Organizations (pp. 3-9). Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.

March, J. (2010). The ambiguities of experience. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

March, J. (2008). Explorations in organizations. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

March, J. (1999). The pursuit of organizational intelligence. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers.

March, J. (1994). A primer on decision making: How decisions happen. New York, NY: Free Press.

March, J. (1988). Decisions and organizations. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

March, J. (1981). Footnotes to organizational change. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26(1981), 563-577.

March, J. (1974). Analytical skills and the university training of educational administrators. Education and Urban Society, 6(4), pp. 382-427.

March, J., & Simon, H. (1993). Organizations, 2nd Edition. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Meyer, J., & Scott, W. R. (1983). Organizational environments: Ritual and rationality. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Mintzberg, H. (1983). Power in and around organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Mintzberg, H. (1979). The structuring of organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Morgan, G. (1986). Images of organization. Beverly Hills, CA.

Perrow, C. (2011). The next catastrophe: Reducing our vulnerabilities to natural, industrial, and terrorist disasters. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Perrow, C. (1999). Normal accidents: Living with high-risk technologies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Perrow, C. (1986). Complex organizations: A critical essay, 3rd Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Perrow, C. (1971). Organizational analysis: A sociological view. London, England: Tavistock Publications.

Pfeffer, J. (1981). Power in organizations. Marshfield, MA: Pitman Publishing, Inc.

Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. (1978). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York. NY: Harper & Row.

Piaget, J. (1950). The psychology of intelligence. Translated by Malcom Piercy and D. E. Berlyne. London, England: Routledge.

Ricoeur, P. (1976). Interpretation theory: Discourse and the surplus of meaning. Fort Worth, TX: TCU Press.

Rorty, R. (1982). Consequences of pragmatism. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Selznick, P. (1957). Leadership in administration: A sociological interpretation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday-Currency.

Schon, D. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning the professions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Schon, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Scott, W. R. (2008). Institutions and organizations: Ideas and interests. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scott, W. R. (1987). The adolescence of institutional theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 32, 493-511.

Scott, W. R., & Meyer, J. (1994). Institutional environments and organizations: Structural complexity and individualism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Simon, H. (1976). Administrative behavior: A study of decision-making process in administrative organization, 3rd Edition. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Thompson, J. (1967). Organizations in action. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press.

Weick, K. (2012). Making sense of the organization: Volume 2: The impermanent organization. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Weick, K. (2011). Managing the unexpected: Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Weick, K. (2000). Making sense of the organization. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Weick, K. (1996). Drop your tools: An allegory for organizational studies. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(5), 301-313.

Weick, K. (1995a). Sense-making in organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Weick, K. (1995b). What theory is not, theorizing is. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(3), 385-390.

Weick, K. (1989). Theory construction as disciplined imagination. Academy of Management Review, 14(5), 516-531.

Weick, K. (1979). The social-psychology of organizing, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Weick, K. (1978). The spines of leadership. In M. W. McCall, Jr. & M. M. Lombardo (Eds.), Leadership: Where else can we go? (pp. 37-61). Durham, NC: Duke University.

Weick, K. (1976). Educational organizations as loosely coupled systems. Administrative Science Quarterly, 21(1), 1-19.


  • There are currently no refbacks.