11.1 Contemporary Notions on Theoretical Contributions, Empirical Work and Knowledge Development

Workshop

  • Magnus Hansson Örebro University, School of Business
  • Ulla Eriksson-Zetterquist Gothenburg University
  • Fredrik Nilsson Uppsala University
Keywords: Theory, Theoretical Contribution, Theorizing, Empirical Work

Abstract

Reading the aim of contemporary journals, their specified purposes almost appear as copy-paste versions. Some examples from the aims of top-ranked outlets read accordingly: “publishes top quality theoretical and empirical research”, “publishes the best theoretical and empirical papers”, “advance theory development” and similar declarations. Taken together, these ambitions seem to be a very consistent trend prescribing scholar’s main task as to produce theory.

Management studies, including fields as accounting, marketing, organization studies, and so forth, is a scientific field often described as complex, diverse, multifaceted, eclectic and of an adhocracy nature, being characterized by a wide range of possible theories and perspectives. The multiplicity of theories and perspectives corresponds with variations in how to understand theory, the role of theory, and subsequently, and what should be considered the very content of theory is debated.

References

Corvellec, Hervé (ed.) (2013). What is Theory? Answers from the Social and Cultural Sciences. Stockholm and Copenhagen: Liber and Copenhagen Business School Press.
Sutton, Robert I. and Staw, Berry M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40: 371–384.
Weick, Karl E. (1995). What theory is not – Theorizing is. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40: 385–390.
Whitley, Richard (1984). The Intellectual and Social Organization of the Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Published
2020-10-30