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Reframing Rigor as Reasoning: Challenging Technocratic Conceptions of Rigor in Management Research

The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78769-184-1, eISBN: 978-1-78769-183-4

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 11 April 2019

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors critique dominant technocratic conceptions of rigor in management research and elaborate an alternative account of rigor that is rooted in methodology and involves a concern with the quality of scientific reasoning rather than a narrower focus on methods or measurement issues per se. Based on the proposed redefinition, the authors conceptualize how rigor, as an essential quality of reasoning, may be defined and the authors in turn qualify alternative methodological criteria for how they might assess the rigor of any particular piece of research. In short, with this chapter the authors’ overall aim is to shift the basis of rigor to an altogether more legitimate and commensurable notion that squarely puts the focus on reasoning and scientific inference for quantitative and qualitative research alike. The authors highlight some of the benefits that such an alternative and unified view of rigor may potentially provide toward fostering the quality and progress of management research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the special issue editors and the reviewers for their very helpful comments. We are also grateful to Emma Bell and Tine Koehler, as well as participants in seminars at Cardiff, Lancaster, Bath, Glasgow, Durham and Erasmus Universities, for their comments on earlier versions of this paper. Any weaknesses in this paper are entirely our own responsibility.

Citation

Harley, B. and Cornelissen, J. (2019), "Reframing Rigor as Reasoning: Challenging Technocratic Conceptions of Rigor in Management Research", Zilber, T.B., Amis, J.M. and Mair, J. (Ed.) The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 59), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 59-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20190000059004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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