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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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Book part
Publication date: 14 June 2018

Luis Mireles-Flores

This essay is a review of the recent literature on the methodology of economics, with a focus on three broad trends that have defined the core lines of research within the…

Abstract

This essay is a review of the recent literature on the methodology of economics, with a focus on three broad trends that have defined the core lines of research within the discipline during the last two decades. These trends are: (a) the philosophical analysis of economic modelling and economic explanation; (b) the epistemology of causal inference, evidence diversity and evidence-based policy and (c) the investigation of the methodological underpinnings and public policy implications of behavioural economics. The final output is inevitably not exhaustive, yet it aims at offering a fair taste of some of the most representative questions in the field on which many philosophers, methodologists and social scientists have recently been placing a great deal of intellectual effort. The topics and references compiled in this review should serve at least as safe introductions to some of the central research questions in the philosophy and methodology of economics.

Details

Including a Symposium on Bruce Caldwell’s Beyond Positivism After 35 Years
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-126-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Jon‐Arild Johannessen and Johan Olaisen

To discuss systemic thinking in relation to the naturalistic and anti‐naturalistic position in the philosophy of social science. To develop the theme in two parts: I and II.

Abstract

Purpose

To discuss systemic thinking in relation to the naturalistic and anti‐naturalistic position in the philosophy of social science. To develop the theme in two parts: I and II.

Design/methodology/approach

A cybernetic approach is taken and a discussion on what is the foundation for the philosophy of social science for systemic thinking is developed.

Findings

The findings for Part I are that the rationalistic view of knowledge is based on reflection and reason. The empirical viewpoint on knowledge based on observations. The realistic view of knowledge is based on the link between the rationalistic and the empirical point of view. The systemic viewpoint is based on the realistic view of knowledge.

Practical implications

Provided assistance to social scientists who study social systems from the systemic or cybernetic point of view. Gives researchers studying problems/phenomena in social systems a systemic viewpoint.

Originality/value

It positioned systemic thinking in relation to the philosophy of social science.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 34 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Patrick Riordan

Describes how there are unsolved problems within the philosophy ofthe social sciences, which cannot provide a coherent account of a styleof science which is based on…

Abstract

Describes how there are unsolved problems within the philosophy of the social sciences, which cannot provide a coherent account of a style of science which is based on either explanation or understanding. No easy combination of elements from the empiricist and hermeneutic approaches is possible because of radically different epistemologies. Shows how, against this background of philosophical insecurity, action science seems to offer new possibilities by incorporating a form of practice of research which is aimed at understanding meaning, while at the same time retaining enough of the characteristics of the ideal of scientific reliability (hard data, explicit inference, public testing) to free it from the danger of uncritically adopting the internal viewpoint of participants. It is free from commitment to empiricist epistemological principles, so that it can combine elements of the explanatory and interpretative poles in a coherent way. Argues that it is a valuable contribution which can advance the discussion within the philosophy of the social sciences.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 10 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2014

Shelby Hunt

The purpose of this article is to chronicle the publication events in the 1980s and 1990s that framed the development of the series of controversies in marketing that are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to chronicle the publication events in the 1980s and 1990s that framed the development of the series of controversies in marketing that are known as the “philosophy debates”.

Design/methodology/approach

The article uses a participant’s retrospective approach.

Findings

The article finds that seven publication events are key to understanding marketing’s philosophy debates. The seven are the publication of the “little green book” by Grid, Inc. in 1976; the philosophy of science panel discussion held at the Winter American Marketing Association Educators’ Conference in 1982; the special issue of the Journal of Marketing on marketing theory in 1983; three articles on the “critical relativist perspective” by the Journal of Consumer Research in 1986 and 1988; the “blue book” by South-Western in 1991; a trilogy of articles on truth, positivism and objectivity in the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Consumer Research in 1990-1993; and an article on “rethinking marketing” in the European Journal of Marketing in 1994.

Originality/value

Chronicling the key publication events enables readers to understand what the debates were about and provides readers a starting point for further investigating the issues in the debates.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Jon‐Arild Johannessen and Johan Olaisen

To discuss systemic thinking in relation to the naturalistic position in the philosophy of social science. To develop the theme in two parts: Part I: systemic thinking and…

Abstract

Purpose

To discuss systemic thinking in relation to the naturalistic position in the philosophy of social science. To develop the theme in two parts: Part I: systemic thinking and the naturalistic position; and Part II: the systemic position.

Design/methodology/approach

A cybernetic approach is taken, and a discussion on what is the foundation for the philosophy of social science for systemic thinking and the systemic position is developed.

Findings

The findings of Part I have been given. Part II analyses the systemic position and considers the classical controversy in social science between methodological individualism and methodological collectivism (holism). The pre‐condition on which the systemic position is based is given. The ideal requirements set up by the systemic position are presented under the headings: espistemology/methodology; ontology; axiology; and the ethical position.

Practical implications

Provided assistance to social scientists who study social systems from the systemic or cybernetic viewpoint and give a practical analysis of the systemic position. Provides researchers and others working in this field with an investigation of the role and conduct of social scientists.

Originality/value

It positioned systemic thinking in relation to the philosophy of social science.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 34 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Nicholas Maxwell

The purpose of this paper is to spell out the urgent need to correct structural rationality defects in academia as it exists at present, so that it may become actively and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to spell out the urgent need to correct structural rationality defects in academia as it exists at present, so that it may become actively and effectively engaged in helping us solve the grave global problems that confront us.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper spells out an argument for the urgent need to bring about a revolution in academic inquiry so that the basic aim becomes social wisdom and not just specialized knowledge, problems of living being put at the heart of the academic enterprise.

Findings

Natural science needs to become more like natural philosophy; social science needs to become social methodology or social philosophy; and a basic task of academia needs to become public education about what our problems are and what we need to do about them. Almost every part and aspect of academia needs to change.

Research limitations/implications

The implication is the urgent need to bring about an intellectual/institutional revolution in academic inquiry, so that the aim becomes wisdom, and not just knowledge.

Practical implications

There are substantial practical implications for natural science, social inquiry and the humanities, education, social, economic and political life.

Social implications

There is a need for a new kind of academic inquiry rationally designed and devoted to helping us make social progress towards as good a world as possible. The social implications are profound.

Originality/value

In the author’s view, bringing about the academic revolution, from knowledge-inquiry to wisdom-inquiry, is the single most important thing needed for the long-term interests of humanity.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Daniel J. Adriaenssen and Jon-Arild Johannessen

The purpose of this paper is the conceptual expansion of the science-theoretical foundations of information science, i.e. to develop new thought schemes for information…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is the conceptual expansion of the science-theoretical foundations of information science, i.e. to develop new thought schemes for information science.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the paper is as follows: first, the paper will discuss the foundation of the systemic paradigm (SP). Then the authors will consider the history of information science related to the philosophy of science. In the remaining part of the paper, the authors will investigate information science and its relation to the philosophy of science, focusing on SP.

Findings

In conclusion, the authors will summarise the seven criteria for the application of SP in information science.

Research limitations/implications

Paradigms in information science have rarely reflected upon the use of a SP in information science.

Practical implications

The practical use of the seven criteria in information science Criterion 1: make your premises, suppositions, prerequisites and motives explicit. Criterion 2: make your moral/ethical results and consequences explicit. Criterion 3: research should be evaluated in relation to the transcendence of knowledge. Criterion 4: emphasise methodical pluralism, i.e. empirical generalisations and conceptual generalisations. Criterion 5: emphasise proximity and in-depth studies. Criterion 6: look for patterns and patterns which combine. Criterion 7: look for the power behind the patterns.

Social implications

The opinion is that scientists to a great extent should seek knowledge on the basis of a belief, a specific way of thinking, and by means of specific methods. To make the authors belief explicit makes the way of thinking visible. What the authors achieve, and possibly the only thing the authors can achieve, is to reaffirm the conscious belief. This does not make reality more real, but it could put the authors in a better position to see through the authors way of thinking when faced with scientific problems. This indicates that a scientific study should emphasise all three entities: “The Context of Discovery”, “The Context of Justification” and “The Context of Solution”. These three entities, according to SP, make up the unity of the scientific process.

Originality/value

The seven criteria entail that Kuhn’s argumentative chain (where he tries to find out why theory A is preferred to theory B on a rational pretext) does not concur with SP. This indicates that a scientific study should emphasise all three entities: “The Context of Discovery”, “The Context of Justification” and “The Context of Solution”. These three entities, according to SP, make up the unity of the scientific process.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 45 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

Soma Hewa

In a recent essay entitled “Value‐relevant Sociology”, David Gray (1983:405–416) argues that if sociology has to be socially relevant, “it is essential that sociology…

Abstract

In a recent essay entitled “Value‐relevant Sociology”, David Gray (1983:405–416) argues that if sociology has to be socially relevant, “it is essential that sociology becomes consciously value‐relevant, not value‐free.” He maintains that sociologists cannot analyse the consequences of social structure, forces, and change in a value‐free context if their works are to be relevant for social policies. He then goes on to say, “Between the extremes of value‐free, non‐relevant, sometimes trivial, sociology on the one hand, and immediate response to pressing socioeconomic problems and prevailing political winds on the other, where does the significant sociology lie?” (1983:406). For Gray, both extremes are inappropriate for a worthy academic discipline.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 13 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Saša Baškarada and Andy Koronios

Much of the contemporary methodological literature tends to be self-referential and frequently ignorant of the breadth and depth of philosophical assumptions underpinning…

Abstract

Purpose

Much of the contemporary methodological literature tends to be self-referential and frequently ignorant of the breadth and depth of philosophical assumptions underpinning various methodological positions. Without a clear understanding of the philosophical underpinnings, logically deriving applicable validity criteria becomes very difficult (if not impossible). As a result, the purpose of this paper is to present a critical review of historical and more recent philosophical arguments for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research in social science.

Design/methodology/approach

A targeted review of seminal philosophy of science papers dealing with ontological and epistemological assumptions of, and relation between, natural and social science.

Findings

The paper highlights the link between ontological/epistemological assumptions and methodological choices in social science. Key differences between the natural and social science are discussed and situated within the main paradigms.

Originality/value

The paper draws attention to a range of difficulties associated with the adoption of the natural sciences and the related positivist approaches as a role model for work in the social sciences. Unique contributions of interpretive and critical approaches are highlighted. The paper may be of value to scholars who are interested in the historical context of the still-ongoing qualitative-quantitative debate.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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