The visual dimension in organizing, organization, and organization research: Core ideas, current developments, and promising avenues

Meyer, Renate and Höllerer, Markus and Jancsary, Dennis and van Leeuwen, Theo (2013) The visual dimension in organizing, organization, and organization research: Core ideas, current developments, and promising avenues. Academy of Management Annals, 7 (1). pp. 489-555. ISSN 1941-6520


Download (724kB)


With the unprecedented rise in the use of visuals, and its undeniable omnipresence in organizational contexts, as well as in the individual's everyday life, organization and management science has recently started to pay closer attention to the to date under-theorized "visual mode" of discourse and meaning construction. Building primarily on insights from the phenomenological tradition in organization theory and from social semiotics, this article sets out to consolidate previous scholarly efforts and to sketch a fertile future research agenda. After briefly exploring the workings of visuals, we introduce the methodological and theoretical "roots" of visual studies in a number of disciplines that have a long-standing tradition of incorporating the visual. We then continue by extensively reviewing work in the field of organization and management studies: More specifically, we present five distinct approaches to feature visuals in research designs and to include the visual dimension in scholarly inquiry. Subsequently, we outline, in some detail, promising avenues for future research, and close with a reflection on the impact of visualization on scientific practice itself. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The authors wish to thank Royston Greenwood and Mike Lounsbury from the editorial board of the Academy of Management Annals, as well as Martin Kornberger, Michael Meyer, and Sam Warren for helpful comments. The usual disclaimer applies. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): I 635-G17.
Keywords: visuals / images / visual discourse / visual rhetoric / aesthetics / meaning / social semiotics / sociology of knowledge
Divisions: Departments > Management > Organization Studies
Departments > Management > Public Management und Governance
Forschungsinstitute > Urban Management and Governance
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Variance from Published Version: Minor
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 14:37
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2020 02:34
Related URLs:


View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics