Cuadernos de Administración
Print version ISSN 0120-3592
RIOS SZALAY, Jorge. The relevance of studying the theoretical language for organizations. Cuad. Adm. [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.37, pp. 37-60. ISSN 0120-3592.
This article argues that the language employed by disciplines that study organizations (business administration, organizational theory, organizational studies, etc.) must be carefully cultivated for strictly methodological reasons, given that the language in which theory is expressed affects the theory positively or negatively. Therefore, as an example, the paper shows that the expression administrative process is erroneous and even harmful. The paper discusses the efforts of philosophers and social scientists who have studied the aspects of scientific language in general as well as the language of their respective fields and it critically analyzes proposals by important thinkers who have broached the topic of problems with the theoretical language for organizations. Such analysis includes efforts seeking to standardize administration terminology made by authors such as Urwick and Koontz; propositions by Astley, Daft, and Wiginton who argue that studying organizations requires an ambiguous language, given its complexity (within the "linguistic slant" that has permeated organizational research, in which Alvesson, Cooper, Gergen, and Thatchenkery have also participated); and Simon';s thoughts, who set out to build a vocabulary that would enable describing organizations for scientific purposes.
Keywords : Organizational scientific language; administration terminology; administration semantics; linguistic slant.