Abstract: In mid-2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the Great Reset, an initiative launched to assert, describe, and shape the direction of an epochal transition brought about by the global coronavirus crisis. Rooted in a European tradition of social theory, this article aims to articulate the broader social context of this scenario and pinpoint its implications for management and organization theory. One of these implications is that our fields face a significant risk of co-performing rather than studying the looming “great transformation” from an economy- to a health-dominated society, thus merely replacing one reductionism with another. It follows that what is required are management and organization theories that analyze rather than ride the macro social trends that shape organizations and their environments. The article concludes that if crises are the golden moments of alternative mainstreams, then for those interested in alternatives to the emerging “new normality” the golden moment to develop the next alternative mainstream theories is now.
Keywords: Great Reset initiative, digital transformation, healthicization, multifunctional organization.
Suggested citation: Roth S. (in press), The great reset of management and organization theory. A European perspective, European Management Journal, DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2021.05.005.
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