Eero Vaara

Eero Vaara
University of Oxford | OX · Saïd Business School

PhD (Econ)

About

214
Publications
202,568
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
12,680
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2013 - present
Lancaster University
Position
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar
August 2004 - December 2014
Hanken School of Economics
Position
  • Professor, Vice Rector, Dean of Research
August 2004 - present
emlyon business school
Position
  • Permanent Visiting Professor

Publications

Publications (214)
Book
Ambiguity has been at the core of organization theory for a long time. It is a lens through which organizational scholars have looked at many aspects of organizational life, including decision-making, strategy, change, communication and stakeholder management. This Element presents and discusses the main trajectories in the evolution of this concep...
Preprint
In this paper, we investigate the process by which social control agents define wrongdoing over time and the principles they employ in drawing the boundary between right and wrong. We empirically examine how Italian state actors sought over four decades to categorize behaviors in the so-called "gray area," i.e. the conduct of individuals supportive...
Article
In this Dialog, seven scholars consider the theoretical implications and research opportunities a changing environment presents for the Attention-Based View (ABV). With its roots in the 1950s Carnegie School, ABV is expanding and evolving in ways that accommodate the changes in the corporate context characterized by distributed, porous structures o...
Article
Full-text available
Strategy-as-practice (SAP) has become one of the most vibrant areas of contemporary strategy research in the past two decades. As the field has grown significantly , we have witnessed an emergence of distinct streams of research within the SAP research community. Thus, it is time to take stock of this body of work to better understand the structure...
Chapter
Ambiguity has been at the core of organization theory for a long time. It is a lens through which organizational scholars have looked at many aspects of organizational life, including decision-making, strategy, change, communication and stakeholder management. This Element presents and discusses the main trajectories in the evolution of this c...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on knowledge work has started to explore how organizational actors deal with pragmatic boundaries that arise from their different interests, priorities, and viewpoints. Material objects, such as visual artifacts, can be used to shape and manipulate pragmatic boundaries, but our understanding of these dynamics is only partial. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Despite a growing interest in power in sensemaking, our understanding of how power is linked with language is still theoretically underdeveloped. To this end, we develop a critical discursive perspective on sensemaking comprised of a three‐part theoretical framework that elucidates the discursive underpinnings of power in organisational sensemaking...
Article
Full-text available
Research summary The purpose of this introduction to the SMS Collection is to take stock of advances in language-based analyses of strategic processes and practices with an eye on the theoretical and methodological insights and opportunities. After a review of the articles included, we develop a framework that identifies four perspectives ranging f...
Article
Full-text available
While in the past, perspectives that focus on language and communication have perhaps not received the attention they deserve in the mainstream literature in strategy and organization, interest in this area has been growing in recent years. The present essay serves to introduce a collection of insightful papers (independently submitted and reviewed...
Article
Full-text available
Entrepreneurship research has long been interested in the emergence of new business activities in various geographical and institutional contexts. However, these studies have largely focused on market and transition economies at the expense of planned economies. To address this limitation, our study focuses on an extreme case: how people envision t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Strategy process research has yielded a richer understanding of the emergence of strategies from throughout the organization and over extended periods of time; strategy-as-practice research has helped us understand the range of actors involved in strategy and the tools they draw on in their strategy work. The purpose of this chapter is to encourage...
Article
Full-text available
Successful post-acquisition integration hinges on combining hard and soft integration, but insights into how this can be done are scarce. We develop a dynamic model of post-acquisition integration through an in-depth inductive study of a cross-border acquisition. Our model illustrates that the combination of hard and soft integration decisions sets...
Article
Many startups today have adopted a “self-directed” model, which includes flat organizational structures, minimal hierarchy, self-management, and an emphasis on empowerment. When these companies are small, this model confers all sorts of advantages. But it’s hard for companies to stick to that model when they grow and scale. Some companies have succ...
Article
Full-text available
Strategy process and practice research has illuminated the internal dynamics of strategy work – at the cost of backgrounding processes and practices that relate to engagement with external actors. In this conceptual paper, we argue for an extension of this body of work by shifting the locus of research from internal practices and processes towards...
Article
Full-text available
A growing interest in the study of discourses has spread in management research, but so far, it has mostly relied on in-depth qualitative analyses of textual material. With the increasing availability of large textual data, several challenges arise. This paper offers a mixed-methods approach to integrate critical discourse analysis with structural...
Article
Full-text available
By focusing on individual settlements rather than viewing them as part of a trajectory of change, prior research on institutional settlements has not fully captured the dynamics of longer-term institutional change. Yet this would be important to better understand progressive legitimation dynamics; in other words, how successive settlements may incr...
Article
Full-text available
The Covid‐19 crisis makes the study of languages in management even more relevant and timely than before the crisis. This “black and brown epidemic,” as Joseph Betancourt from Massachusetts General Hospital called it, brings to the fore social divisions and hardship, accelerating and magnifying processes and practices of linguistic inequality with...
Article
Irony and humor play an important role in both organizing and organizations, because they both help to collide and contrast ideas as well as mitigate and moderate criticism. Our empirical observations of a senior management team suggest participants frequently use verbal irony and aggressive conversational humor through ‘ironic personae’ – a cast o...
Preprint
Irony and humor play an important role in both organizing and organizations, because they both help to collide and contrast ideas as well as mitigate and moderate criticism. Our empirical observations of a senior management team suggest participants frequently use verbal irony and aggressive conversational humor through ironic personae, a cast of c...
Article
Full-text available
This paper elucidates the political dynamics of organizational identity breach and reconstruction. Drawing on the revealing case of UNICEF Germany, we develop a process model of four phases of identity breach and reconstruction: build-up of identity tensions, revelation of identity breach, identity reconstruction, and enactment of the reconstructed...
Article
Full-text available
Irony is an effective means of dealing with controversy in organizations, but there is a paucity of knowledge of the various ways in which irony helps managers to do so without necessarily ‘solving’ those issues. By drawing on discursive incongruity theory, we examine the use of irony when managers are confronted with controversial issues in a mult...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines how pluralistic organizations confronting fundamental differences in values can proceed with strategic change. By drawing on a longitudinal case analysis of strategic change in a Nordic city organization, we show how the proponents and challengers play a “rhetorical game” in which they simultaneously promote their own value-base...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that in order to overcome the reductionism and essentialism in institutional theory there is a need to acknowledge that institutions and social actors are co‐constitutive and co‐constructed in processes of communication. We elaborate this argument by drawing on the phenomenological foundation of institutional theory and point to promising...
Chapter
In this chapter, we focus on national identity in and around multinational corporations (MNCs). We offer three conceptualizations of national identity and demonstrate how it may be studied in MNCs. First, we argue that organizational actors (re)construct their national identities via references to, and associations with, particular ideologies and w...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines how strategy-makers attempt to reconcile change initiatives with organizational values and principles laid out long before and still encased in strategic identity statements such as corporate mottos and philosophies. It reveals three discursive strategies that strategy-makers use to establish a sense of continuity in time of cha...
Article
Full-text available
There is a paucity of knowledge of one key aspect of diversity in and around international organizations: national identity. This is especially the case with research on multinational corporations (MNC) that has focused on cultural differences instead of processes of national identification or national identity construction. Drawing on a critical d...
Article
Full-text available
In organizations, people have to deal with and manage a variety of paradoxes, and this may involve using discursive means such as irony. However, we still know little about the association between irony and paradox in concrete organizational interaction. Our analysis builds on an ethnographic study of journalists and producers at YLE, the Finnish p...
Article
Full-text available
Research Summary The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the role of concepts in strategic sensemaking. Based on a longitudinal real‐time study of a city organization, we demonstrate how the concept of 'self‐responsibility' played a crucial role in strategic sensemaking. We develop a theoretical model that elucidates how strategic concepts are u...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we focus on participation in open strategy. We examine how the issue of participation has been dealt with in previous strategy literature and elaborate on how research on open strategy can be linked with and advance this body of work. We identify three main views on participation in strategy research: participation as an inherent pa...
Article
Full-text available
Research Summary: Building on our review of the strategy process and practice research, we identify three ways to see the relationships between the two research traditions: complementary , critical, and combinatory views. We adopt in this special issue the combinatory view, in which activities and processes are seen as closely intertwined aspects o...
Article
Full-text available
The attention-based view (ABV) has highlighted the role of organizational attention in strategic decision-making and adaptation. The tendency to view communication channels as “pipes and prisms” for information processing has, however, limited its ability to address strategic change. We propose a broader role for communication as a process by which...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on research on the " human side " of global mergers and acquisitions (M&As). We argue that there is a need for a more fine-grained understanding of the " human side, " which requires conceptualizing M&As as practice-oriented processes. Drawing on the practice approach, we outline avenues for further research on the " human side "...
Article
Full-text available
This paper marks a departure from the focus on external stakeholders in much research on legitimacy and multinational corporations, adopting a social psychological approach to study how MNCs build internal legitimacy for controversial decisions with their subsidiaries. We explore this through a longitudinal, real-time qualitative case study of a re...
Chapter
Full-text available
The article develops a model which conceptualizes headquarter-subsidiary relations in the multinational corporation as a multilevel discursive struggle between key managers. At the first level, the relations are conceptualized as a discursive struggle over decisions and actions using rationalistic discourses. At the second level, they are viewed as...
Article
Full-text available
The paper advances our understanding of managerial identity work in the context of HQ–subsidiary relations. We argue that a key part of this identity work is related to cultural stereotypes. On the basis of an analysis of two Finland-based MNCs operating in Russia, the paper elucidates three forms of stereotype-based identity work with enabling or...
Chapter
As organizations expand internationally and their foreign operations become more dispersed, differences in “natural” languages start to influence communication within and beyond their boundaries. In order to cope with these challenges, multinational companies (MNCs) have implicit or explicitly formulated language policies for corporate communicatio...
Article
Full-text available
Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) continue to be prevalent despite frequently yielding disappointing outcomes. Postmerger integration plays a critical role in M&A success, yet many questions about M&A implementation remain unanswered. In this article, we review research on postmerger integration, which we organize around strategic integration , socio...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the proliferation of strategy process and practice research, we lack understanding of the historical embeddedness of strategic processes and practices. In this article we present three historical approaches with the potential to remedy this deficiency. First, realist history can contribute to a better understanding of the historical embedde...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on the role of narratives in process organization studies. While narratives are often used in processual organization studies, ambiguity and even confusion prevails in how they are understood and mobilized. We identify and elaborate on four narrative perspectives: narrative representation, narrative construction, narrative deco...
Article
Full-text available
Although narrative analysis has made significant advances in organization and management studies, scholars have not yet unleashed its full potential. This review provides an understanding of key issues in organizational narrative analysis with a focus on the role of narratives in organizational stability and change. We start by elaborating on the c...
Chapter
This chapter conceptualizes identity construction in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) as sensemaking where discursive resources are mobilized to construct, transform, and at times destruct senses of organizational identity. M&As are offered as specific contexts where resources such as stereotypes, tropes, narratives, and antenarratives are drawn on...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we focus on the role of language in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and explore how organization members’ language skills, or fluency, in the adopted lingua franca may impact their reactions to a merger. Drawing on a qualitative study of the post-merger integration between a French and Dutch airline where English was adopted as...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the discursive legitimation of controversial investment projects to provide a better understanding of the ways in which corporate social responsibility is constructed in international settings. On the basis of a discursive analysis of an intense dispute between Finnish, Uruguayan and Argentinean actors over a pulp mill project i...
Article
Full-text available
While research on strategy-making has begun to focus attention on identity construction, we nevertheless lack a critical understanding of the ways in which socio-historical understandings of strategy are (re)constructed at the level of identity. In this article, we draw on Judith Butler's theorizing on performative subject formation—first to explor...
Chapter
Full-text available