60 Years of March and Simon's Organizations

An empirical examination of its impact and influence on subsequent research

Ralf Wilden*, Jan Hohberger, Timothy M. Devinney, Fabrice Lumineau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


We provide an analytic and systematic review of the impact of March and Simon's seminal Organizations on management research and discuss the book's value for current research and propose future applications of it. Building on bibliometric and text‐mining approaches, our empirical analysis reveals that although Organizations was contextually based in the industrial milieu of the 1950's, its concepts have found ongoing resonance with scholars. Further, we find that much of this resonance appears to be driven by the ability of scholars in different ‘schools of thought' to find useful insights from March and Simon's generalized theoretical structure. However, we also observe that scholars have been selective in their usage of ideas from the book over the last 60 years. Based our analysis, we propose a particular set of future research areas, including a focus on new organizational forms and extending March & Simon's ideas to multi‐level research, which can benefit from more holistically drawing on Organizations and connect its original ideas to address current management problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1570-1604
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 the Author(s). Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • behavioral theory
  • bibliometrics
  • Carnegie School
  • Herbert Simon
  • innovation
  • James March
  • literature review
  • organizations
  • text mining

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