Research Seminar || SoSe 2020 || Giulia CAPPELLARO (Bocconi University)
May 05, 2020 - 01:30 p.m. to 03:00 p.m.
Title: Ambiguity about ambiguity? A conceptual and empirical journey on the construct of ambiguity in management research
Type: Talk with Q&A
Facilitator: Giulia Cappellaro
Description. Despite the key role of ambiguity in management research – from the classic behavioral theory of the firm, to sensemaking and more postmodern analyses of multiple realities in and around organizations, ambiguity and even confusion prevail about ambiguity in current theorizing. The seminar aims to trigger a critical reflection on the construct of ambiguity bridging insights from ongoing empirical and conceptual work on the theme. The first part of the seminar will discuss empirical findings of how organizations maintain strategic ambiguity to protect themselves from public scrutiny, based on an historical study (1963-2018) of the Sicilian Mafia and of the discursive and non-discursive strategies employed in the process. In the second part of the seminar, I will share emerging insights from a preliminary analysis of 690 articles published between 1950 and 2018, which allowed identifying three main perspectives on ambiguity in and around organizations. The ultimate aim of the analysis would be to develop an integrative framework based on the three provisional perspectives and suggest ways of bridging the conventional and new understandings of this core construct.
Speaker. Giulia Cappellaro is assistant professor in the Department of Social and Political Sciences at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. She received her PhD in Management from the Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Her research adopts qualitative methodologies to study dynamics of organizational and policy change in sectors of public interest, employing both ethnographic and historical analysis approaches. Her academic research has been published in scholarly outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Public Administration, Public Management Review and International Public Management Journal.