Craft, magic and the re-enchantment of the world

Roy Suddaby*, Max Ganzin, Alison Minkus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


This essay challenges the prevailing view of progressive rationality and disenchantment as set out in Max Weber's social theory and reproduced in organizational neo-institutionalism. We observe that rationality and disenchantment cannot exist in the absence of magic, mystery and enchantment. We argue that the contemporary celebration of rationality and disenchantment is a modernist discourse that has marginalized equally compelling instances of re-enchantment. Drawing from the popular press and management research we identify five themes of re-enchantment in the world; the rise of populism, the return of tribalism, the resurgence of religion, the re-enchantment of science and the return to craft. We use these phenomena to elaborate four alternative constructs authenticity, reflexivity, mimesis and incantation - that counterbalance the over rationalized and paralyzing concepts in neo-institutionalism legitimacy, embeddedness, isomorphism and diffusion. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Institutions
  • Enchantment
  • Authenticity
  • Reflexivity
  • Mimesis
  • Incantation

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