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George R. Terry Book Award winners – past and present

Editor’s note: updated 19 August 2021.

We are proud to announce that the winner of this year’s George R. Terry Book Award is Constructing Organizational Lifeby Thomas B. Lawrence and Nelson Phillips. The George R. Terry Book Award is awarded to the book that has made the most outstanding contribution to the global advancement of management knowledge. The prize was presented at the Academy of Management’s annual conference, and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our authors on this prestigious achievement. To celebrate, we are taking a look back at previous George R. Terry Award winners and finalists.

Constructing Organizational Life by Thomas B. Lawrence and Nelson Phillips

Constructing Organizational Life

2021: Winner

Across the social sciences, scholars are increasingly showing how people “work” to construct organizational life. This book introduces the social-symbolic work perspective, which integrates diverse streams of research to examine how people purposefully and reflexively work to construct organizational life, including the identities, technologies, boundaries, and strategies that constitute their organizations.

Find out more about Constructing Organizational Life by Thomas B. Lawrence and Nelson Phillips.

The 99 Percent Economy by Paul S. Adler

The 99 Percent Economy2020: Finalist

We live in a time of crises—economic turmoil, workplace disempowerment, unresponsive government, environmental degradation, social disintegration, and international rivalry. In The 99 Percent Economy, Paul S. Adler, a leading expert on business management, argues that these crises are destined to deepen unless we radically transform our economy.

Find out more about The 99 Percent Economy by Paul S. Adler.

Judgment and Strategy by Robin Holt

2019: Finalist

This book argues strategy is the process by which an organization understands and declares itself. To bring this about exponents of strategic inquiry attempt to gather knowledge about the conditions in which any organization is being organized: emerging markets, restless geo-political environments, networks of technological ordering, populations and skill sets, and the like. The upshot of such inquiry is a succession of images by which an organization attains distinction as a unity, or ‘self’.

Find out more about Judgment and Strategy by Robin Holt.

Ringtone by Yves Doz and Keeley Wilson

2018: Winner 

In less than three decades, Nokia emerged from Finland to lead the mobile phone revolution. It grew to have one of the most recognizable and valuable brands in the world and then fell into decline, leading to the sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft. This book explores and analyzes that journey and distills observations and learning points for anyone keen to understand what drove Nokia’s amazing success and sudden downfall.

Find out more about Ringtone by Yves Doz and Keeley Wilson.

Trust in a Complex World by Charles Heckscher

2016: Winner

This book explores current conflicts and confusions of relations and identities, using both general theory and specific cases. It argues that we are at a catalyzing moment in a long transition from a community in which the prime rule was tolerance, to one with a commitment to understanding; from one where it was considered wrong to argue about cultural differences, to one where such arguments are essential.

Find out more about Trust in a Complex World by Charles Heckscher.

Hyper-Organization by Patricia Bromley and John W. Meyer

Hyper-Organization2016: Finalist

Provides a social constructivist and institutional explanation for expansion of organizations and an overview of main trends in organization theory. Much expansion is hard to justify in terms of technical production or political power, it lies in areas such as protecting the environment, promoting marginalized groups, or behaving with transparency.

Find out more about Hyper-Organization by Patricia Bromley and John W. Meyer.

Making a Market for Acts of God by Patricia Jarzabkowski, Rebecca Bednarek, and Paul Spee

2016: Finalist

This book brings to life the reinsurance market through vivid real-life tales that draw from an ethnographic, “fly-on-the-wall” study of the global reinsurance industry over three annual cycles.

This book takes readers into the desperate hours of pricing Japanese risks during March 2011, while the devastating aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake is unfolding. To show how the market works, the book offers authentic tales gathered from observations of reinsurers in Bermuda, Lloyd’s of London, Continental Europe and SE Asia as they evaluate, price and compete for different risks as part of their everyday practice.

Find out more about Making a Market for Acts of God by Patricia Jarzabkowski, Rebecca Bednarek, and Paul Spee.

A Process Theory of Organization by Tor Hernes

A Process Theory of Organization2015: Winner

This book presents a novel and comprehensive process theory of organization applicable to ‘a world on the move’, where connectedness prevails over size, flow prevails over stability, and temporality prevails over spatiality. The framework developed in the book draws upon process thinking in a number of areas, including process philosophy, pragmatism, phenomenology, and science and technology studies.

Find out more about A Process Theory of Organization by Tor Hernes.

The Institutional Logics Perspective by Patricia H. Thornton, William Ocasio, and Michael Lounsbury

2013: Winner

How do institutions influence and shape cognition and action in individuals and organizations, and how are they in turn shaped by them? This book analyzes seminal research, illustrating how and why influential works on institutional theory motivated a distinct new approach to scholarship on institutional logics. The book shows how the institutional logics perspective transforms institutional theory. It presents novel theory, further elaborates the institutional logics perspective, and forges new linkages to key literatures on practice, identity, and social and cognitive psychology.

Find out more about The Institutional Logics Perspective by by Patricia H. Thornton, William Ocasio, and Michael Lounsbury. 

Neighbor Networks by Ronald S. Burt

Neighbor Networks2011: Winner

There is a moral to this book, a bit of Confucian wisdom often ignored in social network analysis: “Worry not that no one knows you, seek to be worth knowing.” This advice is contrary to the usual social network emphasis on securing relations with well-connected people. Neighbor Networks examines the cases of analysts, bankers, and managers, and finds that rewards, in fact, do go to people with well-connected colleagues. Look around your organization. The individuals doing well tend to be affiliated with well-connected colleagues.

Find out more about Neighbor Networks by Ronald S. Burt.

Managed by the Markets by Gerald F. Davis

2010: Winner

Managed by the Markets explains how finance replaced manufacturing at the center of the American economy, and how its influence has seeped into daily life. From corporations operated to create shareholder value, to banks that became portals to financial markets, to governments seeking to regulate or profit from footloose capital, to households with savings, pensions, and mortgages that rise and fall with the market, life in post-industrial America is tied to finance to an unprecedented degree. Managed by the Markets provides a guide to how we got here and unpacks the consequences of linking the well-being of society too closely to financial markets.

Find out more about Managed by the Markets by Gerald F. Davis.

Featured image: Books by Christopher. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

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