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The introductory chapter includes how to design-in good practices in theory, data collection procedures, analysis, and interpretations to avoid these bad practices. Given…
The introductory chapter includes how to design-in good practices in theory, data collection procedures, analysis, and interpretations to avoid these bad practices. Given that bad practices in research are ingrained in the career training of scholars in sub-disciplines of business/management (e.g., through reading articles exhibiting bad practices usually without discussions of the severe weaknesses in these studies and by research courses stressing the use of regression analysis and structural equation modeling), this editorial is likely to have little impact. However, scholars and executives supporting good practices should not lose hope. The relevant literature includes a few brilliant contributions that can serve as beacons for eliminating the current pervasive bad practices and for performing highly competent research.
This study applies asymmetric rather than conventional symmetric analysis to advance theory in occupational psychology. The study applies systematic case-based analyses to…
This study applies asymmetric rather than conventional symmetric analysis to advance theory in occupational psychology. The study applies systematic case-based analyses to model complex relations among conditions (i.e., configurations of high and low scores for variables) in terms of set memberships of managers. The study uses Boolean algebra to identify configurations (i.e., recipes) reflecting complex conditions sufficient for the occurrence of outcomes of interest (e.g., high versus low financial job stress, job strain, and job satisfaction). The study applies complexity theory tenets to offer a nuanced perspective concerning the occurrence of contrarian cases – for example, in identifying different cases (e.g., managers) with high membership scores in a variable (e.g., core self-evaluation) who have low job satisfaction scores and when different cases with low membership scores in the same variable have high job satisfaction. In a large-scale empirical study of managers (n = 928) in four (contextual) segments of the farm industry in New Zealand, this study tests the fit and predictive validities of set membership configurations for simple and complex antecedent conditions that indicate high/low core self-evaluations, job stress, and high/low job satisfaction. The findings support the conclusion that complexity theory in combination with configural analysis offers useful insights for explaining nuances in the causes and outcomes to high stress as well as low stress among farm managers. Some findings support and some are contrary to symmetric relationship findings (i.e., highly significant correlations that support main effect hypotheses).
Literature review articles have become a frequently applied research approach in operations and supply chain management (SCM). The purpose of this paper aims to elaborate…
Literature review articles have become a frequently applied research approach in operations and supply chain management (SCM). The purpose of this paper aims to elaborate on four approaches for developing or employing theory in systematic literature reviews (SLRs).
The paper uses conceptual arguments and illustrates them by pointing to recent examples. In SLRs, the material collection is usually based on keywords and searching databases, which is comparatively well documented. Data analysis, however, often falls short in documentation and, consequently, is neither well explained nor replicable. Therefore, the focus of this paper is the elaboration of the data analysis and sense-making stage in the research process of SLRs.
The paper presents four different approaches, which are characterized as theory (1) building, (2) modification, (3) refinement and (4) extension, based on whether new concepts are formed or extant concepts within SCM or other fields of management theory are adopted.
The limitation of this research is that literature reviews could be conducted and presented in many ways. Since the focus of this research is on systematic literature reviews, only a limited number of approaches can be discussed and presented here.
The paper contributes to explaining the process and expected outcomes of a literature review and, therefore, aids in further developing the related methodological approaches. This is relevant as literature review publications now often replace conceptual or theoretical pieces but still have to deliver concerning demands of theory building.
Following from the cutting-edge work of Stephen Wolfram in A New Kind of Science (2002), in this chapter we propose “a new kind of OB” (organizational behavior) based on…
Following from the cutting-edge work of Stephen Wolfram in A New Kind of Science (2002), in this chapter we propose “a new kind of OB” (organizational behavior) based on the varient approach to theory building and testing. In particular, we offer four simple, yet comprehensive theories to account for individual behavior, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, and collectivized processes in organizations. In each case, two constructs, their association, and the levels of analysis of their operation are proposed. While the four theories proposed here are simple notions, they can explain a variety of complex phenomena and behavior in organizations.
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.
The study of the diffusion of innovations into libraries has become a cottage industry of sorts, as libraries have always provided a fascinating test-bed of nonprofit…
The study of the diffusion of innovations into libraries has become a cottage industry of sorts, as libraries have always provided a fascinating test-bed of nonprofit institutions attempting improvement through the use of new policies, practices, and assorted apparatus (Malinconico, 1997). For example, Paul Sturges (1996) has focused on the evolution of public library services over the course of 70 years across England, while Verna Pungitore (1995) presented the development of standardization of library planning policies in contemporary America. For the past several decades, however, the study of diffusion in libraries has tended to focus on the implementation of information technologies (e.g., Clayton, 1997; Tran, 2005; White, 2001) and their associated competencies (e.g., Marshall, 1990; Wildemuth, 1992), the improvements in performance associated with their use (e.g., Damanpour, 1985, 1988; Damanpour & Evan, 1984), and ways to manage resistance to technological changes within the library environment (e.g., Weiner, 2003).
The paper will concentrate on the Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) from the point of view of the contemplative social sciences (CSS). It will analyze how the mind is…
The paper will concentrate on the Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) from the point of view of the contemplative social sciences (CSS). It will analyze how the mind is engaged in the construction of concept and what the role is of the consciousness of the mind's work in creating a theory that is based on the analysis of empirical data. We will review the research and analytical methods that could be inspirations for Contemplative Grounded Theory (CGT): constructivist grounded theory, classic grounded theory, transformational grounded theory, sociological introspection, holistic ethnography, mindful inquiry and transformational phenomenology, and contemplative qualitative inquiry.
We can find in many classical books from grounded theory (GT) some seeds of contemplative thinking, and we can reconstruct them (Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Glaser, 1978; Strauss, 1987). We would like to develop the inspirations more and perhaps change the sense of GT after the contemplative turn. We would like to show the possibilities of using CGT in research and also its limitations. Some empirical examples from research and analysis will be given to show how contemplation could be used in GT.
Purpose – Stryker's identity theory has impacted sociological social psychology for a half century and still inspires an active research agenda. To date, however, its…
Purpose – Stryker's identity theory has impacted sociological social psychology for a half century and still inspires an active research agenda. To date, however, its terms and arguments have not been analyzed closely. Our purpose with this project was to conduct such an analysis.
Design/Methodology/Approach – We provide a detailed rationale for our analytic method that entails an objective examination of a theory's clarity, parsimony, precision, and other essential scientific qualities. It is applied using procedures that, among other functions, check terms for clarity and consistency of usage, and ensure that key arguments are logically valid.
Findings – The analysis revealed significant gaps and ambiguities in the core theory. We offered a series of recommendations designed to supply missing logical elements, clarify definitions, and streamline the terminological system. We sought to remain true to the original theory's purposes while further strengthening its coherence, transparency, and overall utility.
Practical Implications – Kurt Lewin's famous maxim applies well here: “Nothing is so practical as a good theory.” To the extent that a body of research is claimed to be theory-driven, gaps and ambiguities throw into question the results of empirical tests and applications that ostensibly are backed by the theory. Without theoretical support, findings are neither meaningful nor generalizable.
Social Implications – A logically sound and semantically transparent identity theory will have the greatest chance for making real differences in society via practical applications.
Originality/Value of the Chapter – We offer a straightforward method to ensure meaningfulness and integrity in social science theories. Such analyses are rare, but we hope that their utility for theory-driven research programs such as identity theory's is evident.
The traditional and still dominant logic among nearly all empirical positivist researchers in schools of management is to write symmetric (two-directional) variable…
The traditional and still dominant logic among nearly all empirical positivist researchers in schools of management is to write symmetric (two-directional) variable hypotheses (SVH) even though the same researchers formulate their behavioral theories at the case (typology) identification level. Cyert and March’s (1963), Cyert, R. M., & March, J. G. (1963). A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall), Howard and Sheth’s (1969, Howard, J. A., & Sheth, J. N. (1969). The theory of buyer behavior. New York, NY: Wiley), and Miles, R. E., & Snow, C. C.’s (1978, Miles, R. E., & Snow, C. C. (1978). Organizational strategy, structure, and process. [A. D. Meyer, collaborator; H. J. Coleman Jr., contributor]. New York, NY: McGraw Hill) typologies of organizations’ strategy configurations (e.g., “Prospectors, Analyzers, and Defenders”) are iconic examples of formulating theory at the case identification level. When testing such theories, most researchers automatically, nonconsciously, switch from building theory of beliefs, attitudes, and behavior at the case identification level to empirically testing of two-directional relationships and additive net-effect influences of variables. Formulating theory focusing on creating case identification hypotheses (CIH) to describe, explain, and predict behavior and then empirically testing at SVH is a mismatch and results in shallow data analysis and frequently inaccurate contributions to theory. This chapter describes the mismatch and resulting unattractive outcomes as well as the pervasive practice of examining only fit validity in empirical studies using symmetric tests. The chapter reviews studies in the literature showing how matching both case-based theory and empirical positivist research of CIH is possible and produces findings that advance useful theory and critical thinking by executives and researchers.