How Cities Think: Thought Style, Thought Collective, and the Impact of Strategy

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


In this chapter, the authors introduce Ludwik Fleck and his ideas of “thought style” and “thought collective” to suggest a re-thinking of the divide between “micro” and “macro” that has perhaps more inhibited than inspired organization studies in general, and institutional theory in particular. With Fleck, the authors argue that there is no such thing as thought style-neutral cognition or undirected perception: meaning, constituted through a specific thought style shared by a thought collective, permeates cognition, judgment, perception, and thought. The authors illustrate our argument with the longitudinal case study of Sydney 2030 (i.e., the strategy-making process of the City of Sydney, Australia). Our case suggests that – regardless of its actual implementation – a strategy is successful to the extent to which it shapes the socio-cognitive infrastructure of a collective and enables those engaged in city-making to think and act collectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMacrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Editors Christopher W. J. Steele, Timothy R. Hannigan, Vern L. Glaser, Madeline Toubiana, Joel Gehman
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Pages185 - 200
ISBN (Print)9781839091605
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502052 Business administration
  • 506009 Organisation theory
  • 502024 Public economy
  • 502006 Controlling

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