Craft, magic and the re-enchantment of the world

Roy Suddaby, Max Ganzin, Alison Minkus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the assumption that inexorable rationalization and disenchantment is the only narrative of modernity. Although the empirical evidence of disenchanting rationality is impressive, there is equally impressive evidence of a countervailing narrative of re-enchantment in the world. The chapter describes the core components of Weber's theory of rationality that form the basis of neo-institutional organization theory. It presents evidence drawn from both academic research and the popular press that challenge each of these assumptions by offering a competing narrative of ongoing enchantment. The chapter introduces four competing constructs- authenticity, reflexivity, mimesis and incantation, each a form of a "rational magic" that contradicts and counterbalances neo-institutionalism's assumptions of ever-expanding reason. The resurgence of craft modes of production in Europe and North America offers a powerful illustration of the re-enchantment of work and economy. Reflexivity offers the possibility of re-enchanting institutional theory by articulating a role for the uniquely human capacity for creative insight and self-awareness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManagement research
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean perspectives
EditorsSabina Siebert
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781315194394
ISBN (Print)9781138721463
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge studies in international business and the world economy

Bibliographical note

Firstly published in European Management Journal, 35(3), 285-296.


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