The structure of theory and the structure of scientific revolutions: What constitutes an advance in theory?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Steven E. Wallis (ed.)
IGI Global (2010)
From a Kuhnian perspective, a paradigmatic revolution in management science will significantly improve our understanding of the business world and show practitioners (including managers and consultants) how to become much more effective. Without an objective measure of revolution, however, the door is open for spurious claims of revolutionary advance. Such claims cause confusion among scholars and practitioners and reduce the legitimacy of university management programs. Metatheoretical methods, based on insights from systems theory, provide new tools for analyzing the structure of theory. Propositional analysis is one such method that may be applied to objectively quantify the formal robustness of management theory. In this chapter, I use propositional analysis to analyze different versions of a theory as it evolves across 1,500 years of history. This analysis shows how the increasing robustness of theory anticipates the arrival of revolution and suggests an innovative and effective way for scholars and practitioners to develop and evaluate theories of management.
|Keywords||metatheory critical metatheory philosophy of science robustness kuhn scientific revolution|
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