Venture Work pp 59-101 | Cite as

Reason and Rationality in Organization Studies: Employee Motivation

  • Alexander Styhre


The chapter examines the literature that contrasts reason and rationality, wherein the former is defined as the human cognitive faculty being responsive to social, cultural, and behavioral conditions wherein the individual acts and makes decisions. When enacting reason, concepts such as norms, beliefs, and values are included in, for example, decision-making. In contrast, rationality is a term reserved for calculative and instrumental thinking wherein factors that cannot be accommodated by current calculative practices are either excluded or simplified to the point wherein they are lending themselves to numerical operations and metrics. Reason and rationality are thereafter discussed in terms of their value and role in social and economic activities, including, for example, the domain of venture work, dependent on both these human cognitive faculties. For instance, to tolerate ambiguities and uncertainty at work, one of the core features of any innovative or entrepreneurial pursuit, the capacity to construct meaningful images of work is helpful to impose a structure and a direction on everyday work.


Reason Rationality Norms Values Job crafting Delegatory relationships Deeply meaningful work 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Styhre
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business, Economics and LawUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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