Dynamics of wilful ignorance in organizations

Mats Alvesson*, Katja Einola, Stephan M Schaefer

*Motsvarande författare för detta arbete

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

1 Citeringar (Scopus)


Contemporary society is obsessed with knowledge, leaving its less seductive counterpart, ignorance, in the shadows. However, as an expanding literature suggests, it is equally important to understand ignorance, and consider its varieties. This study specifies the nature of wilful ignorance in organizations. It does so by a) making a distinction between the will of an actor and the epistemic properties of ignorance, and showing how these two form a dynamic relation, b) linking wilful ignorance to its various drivers, and c) suggesting how our concept of wilful ignorance can be used in the study of organizations. Rather than reducing the phenomenon into a simple to know/to ignore dichotomy, we zoom in on its processual and dynamic nature. Moreover, we explore complexities and ambiguity inherently involved in all knowing and ignoring, as well as the role of agency to reduce harmful effects of wilful ignorance in organizations.
Referentgranskad vetenskaplig tidskriftBritish Journal of Sociology
Sidor (från-till)839-858
Antal sidor20
StatusPublicerad - 05.08.2022
MoE-publikationstypA1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift


  • 512 Företagsekonomi

Styrkeområden och områden med hög potential (AoS och AoHP)

  • AoS: Ansvarsfull organisering


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