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Return to Meaning – A Social Science with Something to Say - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Return to Meaning: A Social Science with Something to Say

Mats Alvesson, Yiannis Gabriel, and Roland Paulsen


This book argues that we are currently witnessing not merely a decline in the quality of social science research, but a proliferation of meaningless research of no value to society and modest value to its authors—apart from securing employment and promotion. The explosion of published outputs, at least in social science, creates a noisy, cluttered environment which makes meaningful research difficult, as different voices compete to capture the limelight even briefly. Older, but more impressive contributions are easily neglected as the premium is to write and publish, not read and learn. The re ... More

Keywords: social sciences, research, publishing game, scholarship, academic publishing, social relevance, meaningless research, higher education

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198787099
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198787099.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mats Alvesson, author
Professor, Lund University

Yiannis Gabriel, author
Professor of Organizational Theory, University of Bath

Roland Paulsen, author
Assistant Professor, Lund University