'Goodness' Concepts in the Study of Organizations: A Longitudinal Survey of Four Leading Journals

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Abstract

The study of organizational 'goodness' is examined in four leading organiza tional journals (American and European) spanning a period of 35 years. The survey of 349 articles shows that 'performance' and 'effectiveness' have been studied most frequently, while 'efficiency' and 'productivity' are rarely addressed. Since 1978, performance has become the single most dominant concept in the literature. Organization Studies was more likely to publish stud ies of effectiveness, whereas The Academy of Management Journal and The Administrative Science Quarterly were more likely to study performance. Only one fifth of the studies provide a theoretical definition of the concepts used, and the number of articles without a nominal definition has increased since 1975. The provision of definitions was more prominent in The Academy of Management Review and Organization Studies than in the other two journals. The results suggest that the literature does not offer a consistent approach to the study of organizational goodness and that measurement is largely erratic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-776
Number of pages24
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994

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