De-Essentializing the Knowledge Intensive Firm: Reflections on Sceptical Research Going against the Mainstream

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper provides an updated summary and discussion of my 1993 JMS paper 'Organization as rhetoric: knowledge-intensive firms and the struggle with rhetoric', and relate this to my own and others' later work in the area explored in the paper: knowledge-intensive work and discourse. A key aspect of knowledge work is the ambiguity of what it stands for, what people working with 'knowledge' are doing, and what they accomplish. This fuels identity uncertainties, which is also addressed and reflected upon in the paper. As part of my broader reflections, I also provide a brief overview of some methodological ideas on how to do problematization: a key theme in the original piece but which is more generally a research approach that may lead to contributions that generate interest.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1640-1661
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch