A comment on paradox and middle‐range theory: universality, synthesis and supplement

Michael Saren (Management Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Jaqueline Pels (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 1 February 2008



This paper aims to highlight the value of adopting a middle‐range theory approach in conceptualizing and investigating marketing practices.


Building on the work of Merton, the paper discusses O'Driscoll's article on the role of paradoxes (both theoretical as well as methodological paradoxes).


The paper argues that it is important to rescue and stress the benefits that adopting a multi‐paradigmatic view has in providing a better understanding of current marketing practices.


This position allows one both to avoid the incommensurability “trap” of being “boxed” into the explanatory dimensions of the chosen paradigm and to develop a richer holistic view. The discussion is grounded on the Contemporary Marketing Practices (CMP) research project.



Saren, M. and Pels, J. (2008), "A comment on paradox and middle‐range theory: universality, synthesis and supplement", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 105-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858620810850218

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