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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2018

Daniel A. Pellathy, Joonhwan In, Diane A. Mollenkopf and Theodore P. Stank

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a systematic application of middle-range theorizing, which pays particular attention to contexts and mechanisms, can be used…

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1498

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a systematic application of middle-range theorizing, which pays particular attention to contexts and mechanisms, can be used to extend current knowledge on logistics customer service (LCS) in a number of critical areas.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies Stank et al.’s (2017) framework for middle-ranging theorizing in logistics to develop a research framework and agenda that can guide future LCS research. Results are generated through a review of the LCS literature and an application of the main concepts of middle-range theorizing.

Findings

The paper outlines opportunities for middle-range research that would extend LCS knowledge in the areas of human and behavioral factors, time-based competition, supply chain complexity, and digitization and technological innovation.

Research limitations/implications

Describing the main characteristics of middle-range theorizing and how middle-range theorizing can be fruitfully applied to LCS research should help to stimulate new knowledge creation in this important area of supply chain logistics management.

Practical implications

By focusing on why and when questions, middle-range theorizing engages with the practical realities of LCS that interest managers and students. Middle-range theorizing moves researchers toward developing a detailed understanding of what actually has to change in order for desired LCS-related outcomes to occur and the contextual factors likely impacting the change process. The paper should, therefore, allow managers to better translate LCS theory into action.

Originality/value

Middle-range theorizing remains new to the supply chain logistics field. The application of middle-range theorizing to LCS research, and logistics research more generally, demands new perspectives on established relationships with the potential to drive original research in areas most relevant to managers.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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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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2245

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 March 2018

Matthias Wenzel and Jochen Koch

The purpose of this paper is to make a case for more process-based theorizing in the field of organizational change.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make a case for more process-based theorizing in the field of organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

To emphasize the importance of a process perspective on organizational change, this paper challenges the prevalent theorizing approach that treats organizational change as entity and argues that process-based theorizing can help researchers gain a better understanding of organizational change.

Findings

To direct future research toward more process-based theorizing, this paper proposes a systematic four-step procedure for the analysis of qualitative data that helps researchers theorize organizational change from a process perspective.

Originality/value

Overall, this paper contributes to theorizing efforts in the field of organizational change by offering a reflective account on the challenges that entity-based theorizing entails, strengthening the position of process-based theorizing in light of these challenges and providing an outlook on how scholars can develop theoretical insights on organizational change from a process perspective.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Sue Llewelyn

The value of qualitative empirical research in the management and accounting disciplines lies in its “conceptual framing” of organizational actions, events, processes, and…

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15235

Abstract

The value of qualitative empirical research in the management and accounting disciplines lies in its “conceptual framing” of organizational actions, events, processes, and structures. Argues that the possibilities for conceptual framing extend beyond the highly abstract schema generally considered as “theories” by academics. In support of this argument, distinguishes five different forms of theorization. Explores the relationship between these theoretical “levels” and the different issues that empirical research explores, arguing that, as the “level” of theorizing “rises”, issues of agency give way to a focus on practice and, in turn, to a concern with structure. As this happens, research aims directed towards abstraction and explanation supersede those for contextualization and understanding. Concludes that views on “what counts as theory” are, currently, too narrow to conceptualize agency, emergence and change adequately in organizational life and, hence, the full range of significant empirical phenomena that characterize the management and accounting areas are not being researched.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Heather Morris, Claire Blewitt, Amanda O'Connor and Helen Skouteris

The aim of this paper is to discuss how theories and practitioner-led theorising allow frontline workers to iteratively co-construct solutions that work in the real world.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to discuss how theories and practitioner-led theorising allow frontline workers to iteratively co-construct solutions that work in the real world.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses the authors’ aim by proposing a social care theorising model

Findings

This study adopts a socio-ecological and epistemological lens when describing theorising and unpacks what this means when frontline workers adapt their practice and programs to work effectively with individuals and families. As frontline workers move towards a grand theory that determines their overarching theoretical perspectives through which they interpret their “social work” world, leadership, organisational culture and governance become crucial in supporting their use of discretion. This support is mostly manifested as supervision and coaching, and the authors argue here that a “researcher in residence” narrows the barriers to embedding research and evidence into practice. Discretion implies the choice of a practitioner to deliver program components in a way that fits the family, which may not align with rigid program protocols, and this calls in to question how to measure fidelity and compensate for adaptation. Furthermore, it highlights the limitations of some research methods and suggests that rapid data collection and analysis may be useful during this theorising process.

Originality/value

This paper conceptualises how frontline social care workers theorise in their practice, the ways these theories are shaped and suggests an option to narrow the research–practice gap.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2020

Aušrinė Šilenskytė and Adam Smale

This paper aims to illustrate why an understanding of how levels of analysis interact is an essential part of multilevel research in the field of international business…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to illustrate why an understanding of how levels of analysis interact is an essential part of multilevel research in the field of international business (IB). Using research on strategy implementation (SI) in multinational corporations (MNCs) as an example, this paper develops a taxonomy and research agenda that demonstrates the key role critical scholars can play in advancing multilevel theorization.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the assumptions of methodological collectivism and individualism, the paper presents a four-step framework: defining the theoretical boundaries of the selected subject; juxtaposing theoretical arguments with empirical work; identifying single- and multi-level theories; and developing a research agenda.

Findings

Research on SI in MNCs has been dominated by one type of theorizing that focuses on the designs of organizational systems or the power of institutions. Multilevel theorization grounded in methodological individualism would offer new knowledge by including the views of under-represented stakeholders, questioning the justice of established systems and overall implications of MNC operations.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed four-step framework encourages scholars to adopt a systematic approach to multilevel theorizing and draw upon the untapped potential of IB theories.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the IB field by introducing an approach to assessing IB research from a multilevel theorizing perspective. The actionable research agenda on SI and the taxonomy of SI research can assist scholars in making aligned choices on study design and envisioning research questions that yield meaningful contributions to theory and practice.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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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: 18 October 2018

Lynda C. Taylor

This paper focuses on the role of theory in the process of doing qualitative accounting research. It discusses the role of theory in qualitative accounting studies, and…

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2722

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on the role of theory in the process of doing qualitative accounting research. It discusses the role of theory in qualitative accounting studies, and provides and example of how theory can be reflected upon, reassessed and refined during a research process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides an illustrative account of theorizing during the process of qualitative accounting research. The paper places specific emphasis on an abductive approach to theorizing. An abductive theoretical framework is used to reflect on the theorizing process.

Findings

The “findings” reflect on the use of theory and the process of theorizing during a research process. The paper finds that abduction may be a useful way of theorizing in qualitative accounting research because it encourages the researcher to remain open to alternative explanations of data, which may promote theoretical development. This paper does not report the accounting practices of an organization in the traditional sense, but illustrates how the empirical findings led to an initial theoretical framework being developed.

Practical implications

The paper is intended to be informative in showing how theory can be used and developed during research. It may be of value and interest to new and emerging researchers. It may also interest established researchers seeking to reflect on their use of theory in research.

Originality/value

There are few contributions that focus exclusively and explicitly on how theory is used and developed during the process of qualitative accounting research. Moreover, the abductive approach has received limited attention in accounting. This paper aims to address these gaps.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 October 2021

Octavio González Aguilar

This paper aims to introduce a crowd-based method for theorizing. The purpose is not to achieve a scientific theory. On the contrary, the purpose is to achieve a model…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a crowd-based method for theorizing. The purpose is not to achieve a scientific theory. On the contrary, the purpose is to achieve a model that may challenge current scientific theories or lead research in new phenomena.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes a case study of theorizing by using a crowd-based method. The first section of the paper introduces what do the authors know about crowdsourcing, crowd science and the aggregation of non-expert views. The second section details the case study. The third section analyses the aggregation. Finally, the fourth section elaborates the conclusions, limitations and future research.

Findings

This document answers to what extent the crowd-based method produces similar results to theories tested and published by experts.

Research limitations/implications

From a theoretical perspective, this study provides evidence to support the research agenda associated with crowd science. The main limitation of this study is that the crowded research models and the expert research models are compared in terms of the graph. Nevertheless, some academics may argue that theory building is about an academic heritage.

Practical implications

This paper exemplifies how to obtain an expert-level research model by aggregating the views of non-experts.

Social implications

This study is particularly important for institutions with limited access to costly databases, labs and researchers.

Originality/value

Previous research suggested that a collective of individuals may help to conduct all the stages of a research endeavour. Nevertheless, a formal method for theorizing based on the aggregation of non-expert views does not exist. This paper provides the method and evidence of its practical implications.

Details

International Journal of Crowd Science, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-7294

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Esther O. Ohito

This study aims to investigate multimodal composition as an exercise or tool for teaching students theory building. To illustrate, an analysis of artifacts comprising a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate multimodal composition as an exercise or tool for teaching students theory building. To illustrate, an analysis of artifacts comprising a student’s multimodal composition, which was created in response to a multipart literacy assignment on theorizing Blackness, is analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

Afrocentricity served as both theoretical moor and research methodology. Qualitative case study, focusing on the case of an individual student, was the research method used.

Findings

Multimodal composition was an effective exercise for surfacing the multidimensionality of a student’s complex knowledge while simultaneously placing the student in the powerful position of theorist. The process of composing multimodally integrated reading, writing and speaking skills while revealing the focal student’s need for targeted writing intervention.

Practical implications

The study evidences multimodal composition as a useful exercise for capturing students’ nuanced interpretations or students’ critical theorizing as well as meaningfully incorporating and assessing students’ literacy skills.

Originality/value

Exposure to preexisting theory alone relegates students to the realm of passive knowledge consumers. This undermines the emancipatory and justice-oriented objectives of critical education, which ideally contributes to social change by challenging dominant power structures and distorted perspectives of marginalized persons. To be empowered agentic learners, students need to be both taught how to theorize and engaged as theorists. This study shows how multimodal composition can be used as a liberatory literacy tool for those intertwined pedagogical purposes.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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