Understanding 'expert' scientists: implications for management and organization research

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper contributes to the debate about rigor and relevance in management and organization research. The contribution derives from an empirical inquiry into the managerial and organizational cognition of acknowledged experts in scientific research: Nobel Laureates. The research was conducted through in-depth unstructured interviews with, and background information about, nineteen of these expert researchers. The analysis of the interviews suggests emergent themes of the process of successful research that are relevant to the conduct of management and organization research. We focus on three particularly forceful emergent themes from our interviews: the role of ‘big leap’ and its relationship to intuition, the significance of seeing both the ‘big picture’ and the detail, and the ways of building and developing successful research teams. We discuss our findings from the interviews in the context of the literature from history and philosophy of science, and examine the implications for management and organization research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
EventAcademy of Management Conference 2014 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014


ConferenceAcademy of Management Conference 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • intuition
  • master-apprentice relationship
  • scientism
  • expert scientists
  • creativity
  • research teams


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