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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…

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Roderick J. Brodie and Linda D. Peters

For service research to develop as an applied social science there is the need to refresh the process of theorizing so it focuses not only on increasing new academic…

Abstract

Purpose

For service research to develop as an applied social science there is the need to refresh the process of theorizing so it focuses not only on increasing new academic knowledge but also on knowledge that is managerially relevant. This paper aims to provide guidelines to achieve this.

Design/methodology/approach

A theorizing process that integrates general theoretic perspectives and contextual research to develop midrange theory is developed. The process is based on the philosophical foundations of pragmatism and abductive reasoning, which has the origins in the 1950s when the management sciences were being established.

Findings

A recent research stream that develops midrange theory about customer and actor engagement is used to illustrate the theorizing process.

Practical implications

Practicing managers, customers and other stakeholders in a service system use theory, so there is a need to focus on how theory is used in specific service contexts and how this research leads to academic knowledge that is managerially relevant. Thus, as applied social science, service research needs to explicitly focus on bridging the theory–praxis gap with midrange theory by incorporating a general theoretic perspective and contextual research.

Originality/value

The contribution comes from providing a broader framework to guide the theorizing process that integrates general theoretic perspectives and applied research to develop midrange theory. While general theories operate at the most abstract level of conceptualization, midrange theories are context-specific and applied theory (theories-in-use) is embedded in empirical research.

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

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

The purpose of this paper is to refine an agenda concerning the theory–praxis gap to develop a foundation for a research tradition.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to refine an agenda concerning the theory–praxis gap to develop a foundation for a research tradition.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper synthesizes and builds on the suggestions in commentary articles by Kohli (2017), Leeflang (2017) and Möller (2017).

Findings

The authors develop a research agenda consisting of the following issues: the need for a systemic view of business practice; the need for innovative and meaningful theoretical understanding; the need to identify conditions and approaches for collaborative theorizing; to further define and instruct the abductive approach; and to explore pragmatic realism to ensure both practical outcomes and truthful theories.

Originality/value

These five issues are a step towards developing a theory–praxis research tradition.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Roderick J. Brodie and Anders Gustafsson

The purpose of this paper is to explore enhancing theory development in service research and provide an overview of the five essays on theorizing initiated by the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore enhancing theory development in service research and provide an overview of the five essays on theorizing initiated by the International Network for Service Research workshop, held at Karlstad, Sweden in September 2014.

Design/methodology/approach

A collaborative theorizing process which was initiated at the Karlstad, Sweden workshop.

Findings

Six (five from the event and the introduction) original and provocative essays that explore different aspects of theorizing in service research.

Originality/value

Exploring how a collaborative approach to research can be used.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Mie Plotnikof

The purpose of this paper is to address studies of New Public Governance (NPG) as a post-New Public Management (NPM) tendency. Although NPG is considered a contrast to NPM…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address studies of New Public Governance (NPG) as a post-New Public Management (NPM) tendency. Although NPG is considered a contrast to NPM and its market incentives, it argues that the practices emerging in tensions of NPM and NPG discourses indicate not a clear-cut shift away from NPM, but rather changes that combine competition with collaboration and trust.

Design/methodology/approach

It offers a discourse approach to advance the theorizing and empirical unfolding of the tensions of contradicting, yet co-existing discourses of NPM and NPG and their effects in practice. Drawing on a case study from the Danish daycare sector, it investigates local collaborative governance initiatives that develop new quality-management methods.

Findings

The study elucidates how NPM and NPG discourses collide in local practices of public sector management within daycare. It shows that the discursive tensions between such value-laden practices indicate a changing marketization associated with collaboration and trust, yet also competition.

Research limitations/implications

To research it becomes critical to advance theoretical and empirical knowledge on the constitutive effects of such complex discursive tensions in public organizations.

Practical implications

To practice it becomes necessary to acknowledge and handle co-existing, yet contradicting management discourses, and not mistake their opposing values as necessarily distinct, but rather as entangled in practice.

Originality/value

The paper contributes with original findings that shed new light on colliding management discourses in practices and their effects within the public sector area of daycare.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Peter S.H. Leeflang

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on Nenonen et al.’s paper on theorizing with managers. This paper discusses differences between marketing science and marketing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on Nenonen et al.’s paper on theorizing with managers. This paper discusses differences between marketing science and marketing practice and gives suggestions to reduce the theory–praxis gap. It gives examples of quantitative studies that have been performed with practioners and use the choices proposed by Nenonen et al. to draw conclusions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on personal experience of the author, which is supported by a substantial number of empirical studies.

Findings

Cooperation with marketing managers/decision-makers is most successful when the initiator is the practitioner. Public policy and litigation are the most promising areas for cooperation. It is difficult to publish the outcomes of these “joint” studies in top journals.

Originality/value

This study extends and continues the results of the study by Nenonen et al.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 15 July 2019

David Coghlan, Abraham B. (Rami) Shani and George W. Hay

This chapter informs current research and practice in organization development and change (ODC) with an actionable knowledge of the social science philosophies. It adds…

Abstract

This chapter informs current research and practice in organization development and change (ODC) with an actionable knowledge of the social science philosophies. It adds value to the scholarship of ODC by charting the progression of philosophies of social science, by showing how researchers in ODC structure their inquiry based on the inherent philosophical dimensions, and by offering useful and actionable knowledge for research and practice. The aim of the chapter is to reflect on the practice of ODC as a social science and to consolidate its social science philosophies so to provide solid philosophical and methodological foundations for the field.

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Ajay K. Kohli

The purpose of this paper is to reflect and comment upon Nenonen et al.’s paper on theorizing with managers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect and comment upon Nenonen et al.’s paper on theorizing with managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a personal comment and reflection.

Findings

The author finds much to support in Nenonen et al.’s work, although also some areas where future work could build on it further.

Originality/value

This commentary extends Nenonen et al.’s work.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Thomas P. Lyon

Social movement organizations increasingly engage directly with companies, rather than using the political process to regulate them. This development has spawned lively…

Abstract

Social movement organizations increasingly engage directly with companies, rather than using the political process to regulate them. This development has spawned lively new literatures on non-market strategy and on social movements, but the two would benefit from engaging each other more effectively. A common framework and set of shared constructs would allow for collaborative theorizing on how new issues emerge into the public sphere, how interest groups mobilize, and how public opinion is formed; transaction cost analysis, with its primarily verbal theorizing, may prove a helpful starting point. Empirical knowledge is growing rapidly, yet many exciting questions remain open.

Details

Social Movements, Stakeholders and Non-Market Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-349-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Nicky Solomon, David Boud, Maria Leontios and Maret Staron

Research in workplace learning needs to take into account the reflexive nature of researchers’ learning. Explores how members of a research team examined their own…

Abstract

Research in workplace learning needs to take into account the reflexive nature of researchers’ learning. Explores how members of a research team examined their own learning and collaboration through a study of transcripts of interactions between them during planning meetings and reflections upon them. Identifies implications for collaboration and learning about workplace learning. A key finding was that experienced researchers and adult educators had difficulty legitimising a focus on their own workplace learning. This points to the problems likely to arise in getting others, who do not have a discourse of learning readily available to them, to take informal workplace learning seriously.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 13 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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