Visual Culture in Organizations: Theory and Cases, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Visual Culture in Organizations

Theory and Cases, 1st Edition

By Alexander Styhre


224 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Vision and visuality are two concepts widely discussed and debated in philosophy and social science literature. Some authors even suggest that the entire Western intellectual tradition is strongly shaped by the paradigm of vision; the inspection and analysis of specimens collected from social reality are regarded as the only legitimate source of truth. However, in organizations, a variety of visual practices are employed in for instance science-based innovation in for instance the pharmaceutical industry and in architect work. Such visual practices include the use of various technoscientific machinery and tools to more mundane uses of full-scale models and photos in architect work. In comparison to the various linguistic perspectives on organizations, vision and visuality remain surprisingly little theorized and examined in the organization literature.

Visual Culture in Organizations offers an introduction to the literature on vision and visuality that is relevant to organizational theory (comparing and contrasting it to the well-documented area of linguistic theory in organizations), proposes a theoretical framework for visual culture in organizations, and provides empirical illustrations to the theoretical framework. The book shows that visual practices are a central procedure in the day-to-day routines of organizations and are long overdue for close examination.


"In this excellent book, Styhre displays an impressive depth of knowledge while developing new and exciting epistemological pathways in relation to visual culture. This is not only an important book for business administrators and organizational theorists, but for all of us living in a connected world. This is simply one of the best books of its kind in the field." - Mats Edenius, Uppsala University, Sweden

Table of Contents

Part 1: Epistemologies of Vision 1. Introduction: From the Lexical to the Visual 2. The Visual Turn in Social Science and Organization Theory Part 2: Practices of Seeing 3. Vision and Visualization in Science-Based Innovation Work 4. Vision and Visualization in Architecture Work Part 3: Concluding Remarks 5. The Primacy of Vision and Its Implication for Organization Theory. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Alexander Styhre is professor and chair in organization theory and management at the Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Economics, and Law, University of Gothenburg. Alexander completed his Ph.D. thesis in business administration at the School of Management and Economics, Lund University, in 1998. Alexander has studied product development in the pharmaceutical, telecom, and automotive industry. He is published in journal articles, research monographs, and textbooks in the field of organization theory and management studies.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society

Management, Organizations and Society represents innovative work grounded in new realities; addressing issues crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world. This is the world of organized societies, where boundaries between formal and informal, public and private, local and global organizations have been displaced or vanished along with other nineteenth century dichotomies and oppositions. Management, apart from becoming a specialised profession for a growing number of people, is an everyday activity for most members of modern societies. Management, Organizations and Society will address these contemporary dynamics of transformation in a manner that transcends disciplinary boundaries, with work which will appeal to researchers, students and practitioners alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior