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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2007

Nicholas Dew

This paper seeks to introduce the concept of abduction to strategists and show how abduction is an important influence on the effective design of strategies.

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2629

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to introduce the concept of abduction to strategists and show how abduction is an important influence on the effective design of strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper defines what is meant by abduction, and describes why abduction is a pre-condition for intelligent designing. It reviews different characteristics of abduction, and suggests several situations in which abduction is used in strategic thinking. It describes a framework managers can use to get better at abductive thinking.

Findings

The paper finds that strategists can gain a lot from knowing how to use abduction well. Abduction is making inferences to the best explanation from information that is surprising or anomalous – both very typical in strategic decision making. Abduction is frequently integral to problem defining. Problem defining, in turn, sets the stage for possibility thinking, and choice of the best alternative. Therefore, good abductive thinking is a pre-condition for intelligent designing in strategy.

Originality/value

The paper shows that abduction is of practical relevance to business strategists, just as much as it is for the practice of law and medicine – two professions that have traditionally put it to effective use.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 27 October 2021

Helle Munkholm Davidsen and Christina Højlund

The purpose of this article is to describe the similarities between abductive reasoning and entrepreneurial learning processes in order to contribute to the conceptual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to describe the similarities between abductive reasoning and entrepreneurial learning processes in order to contribute to the conceptual understanding of learning as an entrepreneurial process in itself.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is theoretically rooted in a conceptual development of the understanding of entrepreneurial learning processes as abductive reasoning inspired by the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. The theoretical explication of the connection between entrepreneurial learning processes and abductive reasoning is additionally illustrated by a hypotheses-based didactic model, developed by the authors to scaffold abducting reasoning into learning processes.

Findings

The authors found in the theoretical investigation of abductive reasoning a conceptualisation of entrepreneurial learning processes that connects entrepreneurial learning processes to basic cognitive human competences, and the authors found that key concepts in entrepreneurship, such as hunches and experiments, can be understood in a broader philosophical framework as basic cognitive competences.

Practical implications

The authors exemplify how abductive reasoning can be used in practice through a hypothesis-based didactic approach designed as a loop model.

Originality/value

The authors have discovered that abduction is closely related to entrepreneurship and can be a central conceptual link in understanding the relationship between entrepreneurship and learning. The athors also believe that Peirce's concept of abduction can contribute to the philosophical understanding of entrepreneurship as another name for a constant rethinking of the world.

Details

Education + Training, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2008

Bernard Gallagher

While there is considerable public concern over stranger‐perpetrated child sexual abuse (CSA) and abduction, much of the professional debate over this subject is…

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173

Abstract

While there is considerable public concern over stranger‐perpetrated child sexual abuse (CSA) and abduction, much of the professional debate over this subject is characterised by quite polarised views and a dearth of reliable research‐based knowledge. In order to start addressing this situation, a major questionnaire survey was carried out among almost 2,500 children aged 9‐16 years in 26 primary and secondary schools in four types of area in north‐west England. Approximately seven per cent of children reported an attempted or completed incident. In terms of its broader messages, the research suggests that we should adopt a more balanced approach in our assessments of the seriousness of stranger CSA and abduction. The research highlights practice issues for child safety educators, the police and therapists and counsellors, relating to prevention, disclosure, reporting and re‐victimisation.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Suvi Nenonen, Roderick J. Brodie, Kaj Storbacka and Linda D. Peters

The aim of the paper is to address the widening theory-praxis gap in marketing. The authors propose that one viable solution to this challenge is involving practitioners…

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2248

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to address the widening theory-praxis gap in marketing. The authors propose that one viable solution to this challenge is involving practitioners in research processes as active, reflective and empowered participants. Most extant discussions addressing the inclusion of managers as partners in theorizing restrain themselves to an “if” question, arguing whether or not it is possible to create sufficiently rigorous knowledge in collaboration with practitioners. This leaves the “how” question unanswered, i.e. how should such gap-bridging research be conducted in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review of collaborative theorizing processes, the authors develop a conceptual framework highlighting the main research design decisions when theorizing with managers. The use of the framework is illustrated with four research program examples.

Findings

Most accounts of theorizing with managers use – explicitly or implicitly – abduction as the main mode of inference. In addition to this philosophical commonality, our literature review identified 12 themes that should be considered when designing collaborative research processes. The four illustrative examples indicate that theorizing with managers is an effective way of producing and socializing both academically sound and managerially relevant knowledge. On the other hand, collaborative theorizing processes are time-consuming and studies using abductive reasoning may be more challenging to publish in top-tier journals.

Originality/value

This paper makes two contributions. First, the authors go beyond the extensive academic literature which provides a plethora of explanations and ideas for potential remedies for bridging the theory-praxis gap by offering a detailed description how one particular solution, theorizing with managers, unfolds in practice. Second, the authors ground collaborative theorizing processes in the philosophy of science and put abduction forward as a common nominator for such studies.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2021

David Eriksson and Annika Engström

Operations and supply chain management (OSCM) is a theoretically and philosophically fragmented field. Researchers must consider how they use theory and explain empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

Operations and supply chain management (OSCM) is a theoretically and philosophically fragmented field. Researchers must consider how they use theory and explain empirical phenomena. This paper aims to use critical realism to introduce more coherence into this fragmented field.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on existing critical realism and abduction literature and this study uses a research process from two PhD projects to investigate critical realism’s role in OSCM research. This paper uses a narrative approach to collect data over a long timeframe, capturing data not commonly used in OSCM research.

Findings

Research that struggles to bridge the gap between theory and data benefits from critical realism, which provides a philosophy and associated methods to identify a suitable theory and guide researchers when they encounter obstacles. While clear steps often outline established methods, researchers are sometimes unable to identify when their research process has reached an obstacle. This paper argues that such obstacles can be treated as “crossroads” offering new research opportunities when correctly evaluated and addressed.

Research limitations/implications

Importantly, researchers should be able to reflect upon their own research processes, enabling a better understanding of these processes and the discovery of new research directions. Researchers can use critical realism, abduction and systematic combining to bridge the divide between theory and data in OSCM.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the field’s discussion regarding the roles of critical realism and abduction, synthesizing multiple academic sources, highlighting critical realism’s importance and providing a novel means of addressing difficulties in navigating an eclectic research area. This paper offers a philosophical alternate to the field, which is often instead considered from a positivistic standpoint. The paper is valuable to researchers in the OSCM field, who can use the research to improve their selection of data and theories, as well as their understanding of their own research processes.

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

David Eriksson

The purpose of this study is to convey lessons learned from a long-term research project and present a coherent approach for researching relevant areas, ranging from…

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1035

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to convey lessons learned from a long-term research project and present a coherent approach for researching relevant areas, ranging from ontology to quality.

Design/methodology/approach

A PhD process is used as a case to present conceptual ideas on performing research in logistics/supply chain management (SCM).

Findings

The research integrates different views on knowledge and the world and how to perform research in logistics/SCM. Models explaining micro and macro abduction, and the relationship between research, the context and researcher subjectivity are suggested.

Research limitations/implications

Knowledge on why and how critical realism can be used in logistics/SCM research is advanced. Abduction is presented as a micro/macro process, which should not have any specific “finish line”, and is supported with both ontological and epistemological arguments.

Practical implications

Research in logistics/SCM can be improved by connecting different aspects of viewing and creating knowledge. Reflecting on how exactly a publication is related to a project, researchers can better describe how they contribute to knowledge creation, and also understand the relationship between micro and macro abduction.

Originality/value

Through presenting an approach to knowledge creation in the context of a PhD thesis, this research distinguishes itself in a field with a growing need to define its own views of the world and of knowledge. The paper advances current understanding of knowledge creation in logistics/SCM, expanding on earlier models and presenting a broader view of the research process and the associated dilemmas. The paper also contains novel considerations of the differences between publication types and how these affect the presentation of the research.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Jeff Gold, John Walton, Peter Cureton and Lisa Anderson

The purpose of this paper is to argue that abductive reasoning is a typical but usually unrecognised process used by HRD scholars and practitioners alike.

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2275

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue that abductive reasoning is a typical but usually unrecognised process used by HRD scholars and practitioners alike.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that explores recent criticism of traditional views of theory‐building, based on the privileging of scientific theorising, which has led to a relevance gap between scholars and practitioners. The work of Charles Sanders Peirce and the varieties of an abductive reasoning process are considered.

Findings

Abductive reasoning, which precedes induction and deduction, provide a potential connection with HRD practitioners who face difficult problems. Two types of abductive reasoning are explored – existential and analogic. Both offer possibilities for theorising with HRD practitioners. A range of methods for allowing abduction to become more evident with practitioners are presented. The authors consider how abduction can be used in engaged and participative research strategies.

Research limitations/implications

While this is a conceptual paper, it does suggest implications for engagement and participation in theorising with HRD practitioners.

Practical implications

Abductive reasoning adds to the repertoire of HRD scholars and practitioners.

Originality/value

The paper elucidates the value of abductive reasoning and points to how it can become an integral element of theory building in HRD.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Book part
Publication date: 29 April 2013

Natacha V. Osenda

This chapter demonstrates how Argentine law court sentences have constructed a “legal truth” regarding the unlawfully appropriated children of people “disappeared” during…

Abstract

This chapter demonstrates how Argentine law court sentences have constructed a “legal truth” regarding the unlawfully appropriated children of people “disappeared” during the last military dictatorship (1976–1983). There are two discursive processes involved in the construction of that truth. On one hand, the courts reinterpret the crime of “abduction of minors” to emphasize the damage done to families in the exercise of their rights, and on the other hand, they link illegal appropriation to the military government’s counterinsurgency policies. Lastly, in the construction of this “legal truth,” the sentences employ other discourses, particularly those of genealogy, psychoanalysis, and human rights.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-620-0

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Niall Brennan

While horror film is hardly new to Latin America, film scholars have largely emphasized the paradigms of socially engaged, ‘serious cinema’ over exploring how genre, cult…

Abstract

While horror film is hardly new to Latin America, film scholars have largely emphasized the paradigms of socially engaged, ‘serious cinema’ over exploring how genre, cult or other transgressive film-making modes have developed in and reflect the region (Tierney, 2014). To characterize Latin American horror, it is typified by the supernatural, which indeed contradicts serious cinema. Since about 2010, however, Latin American film-makers have revisited the ‘abduction’ subgenre of horror film. This chapter analyses three such films – Scherzo Diabolico (García Bogliano, 2015), Luna de Miel (Cohen, 2015) and Sudor Frío (García Bogliano, 2010) – to suggest how their representations of gender and class complicate assumptions about everyday life in the region. The chapter also interrogates how this revived mode of horror film-making reconfigures gender ideologies to challenge the Latin American sociopolitical structures of machismo and patriarchy. By integrating conceptualizations of hybridity with transnational views on horror film-making and Freeland’s (1996) reworked feminist strategy for analysing horror texts, this chapter argues that, in tandem with new means of accessing and viewing Latin American horror globally, we should rethink how the abduction subgenre reflects new realities of Latin American society.

Details

Gender and Contemporary Horror in Film
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-898-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

P.R. Masani

Presents the scientific methodology from the enlarged cybernetical perspective that recognizes the anisotropy of time, the probabilistic character of natural laws, and the…

Abstract

Presents the scientific methodology from the enlarged cybernetical perspective that recognizes the anisotropy of time, the probabilistic character of natural laws, and the entry that the incomplete determinism in Nature opens to the occurrence of innovation, growth, organization, teleology communication, control, contest and freedom. The new tier to the methodological edifice that cybernetics provides stands on the earlier tiers, which go back to the Ionians (c. 500 BC). However, the new insights reveal flaws in the earlier tiers, and their removal strengthens the entire edifice. The new concepts of teleological activity and contest allow the clear demarcation of the military sciences as those whose subject matter is teleological activity involving contest. The paramount question “what ought to be done”, outside the empirical realm, is embraced by the scientific methodology. It also embraces the cognitive sciences that ask how the human mind is able to discover, and how the sequence of discoveries might converge to a true description of reality.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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