Organization Management Journal


This article is about the social processes which produce social science knowledge. It is based on a discourse analysis of DELOS, a European research project into organizational learning in clusters of SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises). The substantive focus is on the researchers’ core theoretical object: the “cluster of SMEs.” This construct remained a highly contested artifact which, for complex reasons, defied singular definition. The analysis draws on, among others, the labyrinthine novels of Franz Kafka and the theoretical musings of Deleuze and Guattari on rhizomic forms of organization in connection with actor-network theory. It is argued that the intrinsic ambiguity and endless processes of social construction and reconstruction which characterized DELOS can be accounted for by seeing the production of social science as a continuous (and continuing) process that drifts along multiple organizational logics, theoretical perspectives, and local agendas. The article demonstrates how the reality of social scientific knowledge is something which the many actors endeavor to stabilize and re-stabilize as it circulates within a tirelessly working net-work.