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Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2017

Ron Sanchez and Aimé Heene

In this paper we examine some fundamental epistemological issues in building theory for applied management science, by which we mean theory that can be usefully applied in…

Abstract

In this paper we examine some fundamental epistemological issues in building theory for applied management science, by which we mean theory that can be usefully applied in a scientific approach to management research and practice. We first define and distinguish “grand theory” from “mid-range theory” in the social and management sciences. We then elaborate and contrast epistemologies for (i) building “grand theory” intended to be applicable to all cases and contexts, and (ii) building “mid-range theory” intended to apply to specific kinds of contexts. We illustrate the epistemological challenges in building grand theory in management science by considering important differences in the abilities of two “grand theories” in strategic management – industry structure theory and firm resources theory – to support development of conceptually consistent models and propositions for empirical testing, theoretical refinement, and application in management practice. We then suggest how a mid-range theory building approach can help to achieve integration of the two grand strategic management theories and improve their ability to support empirical testing, theory refinement, and application of theory in practice. Finally, we suggest how the competence-based management (CBM) perspective provides the foundational concepts needed to build both mid-range theory and (potentially) grand theory in strategic management that can be usefully applied in management science.

Details

Mid-Range Management Theory: Competence Perspectives on Modularity and Dynamic Capabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-404-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 December 2020

Shong-lee Ivan Su, Xuemei Fan and Yongyi Shou

The study aims to explore and develop a smart route planning system for the cross-docking delivery operations of a large supermarket chain using an action research (AR…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore and develop a smart route planning system for the cross-docking delivery operations of a large supermarket chain using an action research (AR) approach and assessing through a design science research (DSR) lens.

Design/methodology/approach

This study took a problem-solving AR (PAR) approach toward the delivery operational issue of the case firm. The research process has accorded with the solution incubation and the refinement phases defined by a DSR framework. An intervention-based research framework for DSR is developed to assess the validity of this study as a DSR research and derive mid-range theories.

Findings

Dramatic operational and financial improvements were achieved for the case firm. Significant and unintended environmental and social benefits were also found. A design proposition (DP) and several mid-range theories are proposed as an extension of AR research to DSR research.

Research limitations/implications

A problem-solving DSR research can be better assessed by the intervention-based DSR framework developed in this study. DSR studies should be encouraged for both practical and theoretical advancement purposes.

Practical implications

A challenging business problem-solving study can be tackled effectively through an industry/academic collaboration taking a PAR approach to deliver substantial values and organization transformational results.

Social implications

Drivers and store associates are safer with smart delivery operations in the case firm.

Originality/value

There are still limited PAR design science case studies in the supply chain/logistics research literature. The research experience and findings gained from this study provide more insights toward how this type of research can be conducted and assessed.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 21 September 2018

Philip Bromiley and Devaki Rau

Can (and should) strategy scholarship attempt to find general prescriptions for business strategy that are applicable to all firms across all business conditions? We…

Abstract

Can (and should) strategy scholarship attempt to find general prescriptions for business strategy that are applicable to all firms across all business conditions? We suggest that a universal theory of business strategy is a chimera: attractive but completely illusory. Our argument is based on two fundamental insights namely, organizations do not automatically adopt all practices and activities that could benefit them (even if knowledge about those activities is in the public domain), and theories and empirical work can address portions of the strategy problem usefully without attempting or achieving a general theory of strategy. Based on this, we believe strategy scholarship can fruitfully build on a variety of mid-range theories to offer three things from a prescriptive standpoint: (1) understanding the structure and processes inherent in organizations and markets; (2) offering productive ways to frame and analyze problems; and (3) offering recommendations for stratagems that appear successful. More generally, organizations might find immense value in strategy scholarship that offers specific tools, prescriptions, and alternative ways of looking at a problem, and that raise performance, on average.

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2021

Mark Johnson, Jens K. Roehrich, Mehmet Chakkol and Andrew Davies

This research bridges disparate research on servitization, namely product–service systems (PSS) and integrated solutions (IS), to provide valuable insights for the…

Abstract

Purpose

This research bridges disparate research on servitization, namely product–service systems (PSS) and integrated solutions (IS), to provide valuable insights for the progression of the field. It acts as a reconciliation of these research streams and offers a reconceptualised agenda incorporating recent research on platforms, ecosystems, modularity, risk and governance as key conceptual themes to synthesise and build theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual, theory development article focused on advancing thinking on servitization by identifying systematic and theoretically informed research themes. It also proposes future research opportunities to advance theoretical contributions and practical implications for servitization research.

Findings

By reviewing and synthesising extant PSS and IS research, this article identified five core themes – namely modularity, platforms, ecosystems, risks and governance. The importance of these five themes and their linkages to PSS and IS are examined and a theoretical framework with a future research agenda to advance servitization is proposed.

Originality/value

This paper considers the similarities and differences between PSS and IS in order to develop a theory and to reconcile formerly disparate research efforts by establishing linkages between core themes and identifying valuable synergies for scholars. The importance of the core themes and current gaps within and across these themes are shown, and a mid-range theory for servitization is positioned to bridge the servitization-related PSS and IS communities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2017

Abstract

Details

Mid-Range Management Theory: Competence Perspectives on Modularity and Dynamic Capabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-404-0

Article
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Elisabeth Paul, Oriane Bodson and Valéry Ridde

The study aims to explore the theoretical bases justifying the use of performance-based financing (PBF) in the health sector in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore the theoretical bases justifying the use of performance-based financing (PBF) in the health sector in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a scoping review of the literature on PBF so as to identify the theories utilized to underpin it and analyzed its theoretical justifications.

Findings

Sixty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Economic theories were predominant, with the principal-agent theory being the most commonly-used theory, explicitly referred to by two-thirds of included studies. Psychological theories were also common, with a wide array of motivation theories. Other disciplines in the form of management or organizational science, political and social science and systems approaches also contributed. However, some of the theories referred to contradicted each other. Many of the studies included only casually alluded to one or more theories, and very few used these theories to justify or support PBF. No theory emerged as a dominant, consistent and credible justification of PBF, perhaps except for the principal-agent theory, which was often inappropriately applied in the included studies, and when it included additional assumptions reflecting the contexts of the health sector in LMICs, might actually warn against adopting PBF.

Practical implications

Overall, this review has not been able to identify a comprehensive, credible, consistent, theoretical justification for using PBF rather than alternative approaches to health system reforms and healthcare providers' motivation in LMICs.

Originality/value

The theoretical justifications of PBF in the health sector in LMICs are under-documented. This review is the first of this kind and should encourage further debate and theoretical exploration of the justifications of PBF.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2012

Ron Sanchez

In this paper we extend established concepts of product and process architectures to propose a concept of organization architecture that defines the essential features of…

Abstract

In this paper we extend established concepts of product and process architectures to propose a concept of organization architecture that defines the essential features of the system design of an organization needed to achieve an effective strategic alignment of an organization with its competitive and/or cooperative environment. Adopting a work process view of organization, we draw on concepts of product and process architectures to elaborate fundamental elements in the design of an organization architecture. We suggest that organization architectures may be designed to support four basic types of change in organization resources, capabilities, and coordination, which we characterize as convergence, reconfiguration, absorptive integration, and architectural transformation. We also suggest the kinds of strategic flexibilities that an organization must have to create and implement each type of organization architecture. We identify four basic types of strategic environments and consider the kinds of changes in resources, capabilities, and coordination that need to be designed into an organization's architecture to maintain effective strategic alignment with its type of environment. We then propose a typology that identifies four basic ways in which organizational architectures may be effectively aligned with strategic environments. Extending the reasoning underlying the proposed alignments of organization architectures with strategic environments, we propose a strategic principle of architectural isomorphism, which holds that maintaining effective strategic alignment of an organization with its environment requires achieving isomorphism across a firm's product, process, and organization architectures. We conclude by considering some implications of the analyses undertaken here for competence theory, general and mid-range strategy theory, and organization theory.

Details

A Focused Issue on Competence Perspectives on New Industry Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-882-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2022

Robert J. Pidduck

Drawing on the “shocks to the system” concept in image theory, a mid-range theoretical model is developed to illuminate understanding on why cross-cultural experience is…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the “shocks to the system” concept in image theory, a mid-range theoretical model is developed to illuminate understanding on why cross-cultural experience is so conducive to stimulating entrepreneurship yet has remained largely unexplained at the individual level.

Design/methodology/approach

The novel idea is put forth that experience of foreignness, in itself, can be harnessed as a powerful cognitive resource for entrepreneurship – particularly the nascent stages of new venture development. Providing cross-cultural exposures arouse “self-image shocks”, they manifest over time as skill clusters that reflect the sensing, seizing and transforming capabilities at the heart of entrepreneurship. This paper's pivot helps delineate a common mechanism to explain how a diverse range of seemingly disparate cross-cultural experiences can be processed in a way that enhances entrepreneurial pursuits.

Findings

The insights of this paper reinforce the need for educators and policymakers to encourage and provide opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to engage in cross-cultural and overseas exposures as they are influential for stimulating each of the core sets of entrepreneurial capabilities. The model and synthesis table also help to practically unpack how to design and plan such cultural experiences to optimize the enduring entrepreneurial advantages.

Originality/value

The author turns a long-standing assumption surrounding cultural differences in entrepreneurship on its head. The shocks and tensions arising from intercultural interactions are not always inevitable liabilities to be “managed away” or attenuated. Rather, cross-cultural experience can be explicitly leveraged as an asset for nascent venturing as the juxtapositions they evoke provide both proximal and distal enhancements to ways in which entrepreneurs think and develop skills at the core of venturing.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2014

Simonne Vermeylen

This paper proposes to rethink the concepts of relevance and usefulness and their relation to the theory–practice gap in management research.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes to rethink the concepts of relevance and usefulness and their relation to the theory–practice gap in management research.

Methodology/approach

On the basis of the cognitive-linguistic relevance theory or inferential pragmatics, supplemented by insights from information science, we define relevance as a general conceptual category, while reserving usefulness for the instrumental application in a particular case.

Findings

There is no reason to hold onto the difference between theoretical and practical relevance, nor to distinguish between instrumental and conceptual relevance.

Originality/value

This novel approach will help to clarify the confusion in the field and contribute to a better understanding of the added value of management research.

Details

A Focused Issue on Building New Competences in Dynamic Environments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-274-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 March 2016

Abstract

Details

Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-946-6

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