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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Göran Svensson

The objective of this article is to describe processes of substantiations and contributions across contexts and over time through theory building towards theory in…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this article is to describe processes of substantiations and contributions across contexts and over time through theory building towards theory in business research.

Design/methodology/approach

The article provides a seed for discussion, debate and consideration regarding scholarly substantiations and contributions through theory building towards business theory.

Findings

The importance of cumulative processes in terms of substantiations and contributions in business research should not be neglected, but its logic and value is currently argued to be often underestimated or ignored.

Research limitations/implications

Sound theory requires sound foundations based upon processes of substantiations and contributions. It is essential that the processes of substantiations and contributions are cumulative and parallel through theory building towards theory.

Practical implications

An important lesson learned is that an original study should not be seen as providing a genuine substantiation and making a solid contribution to business theory until it has been successfully replicated and validated across contexts and over time.

Originality/value

The author concludes that current practices of substantiations and contributions through theory building towards theory are insufficient and contain fatal flaws potentially undermining the well‐being of business research and the perception of business theory being seen as a solid and credible management discipline among other academic disciplines in the worldwide research community.

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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

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2018

Kouliga Koala and Joshua Steinfeld

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of theory building in public procurement by reviewing and classifying manuscripts published in the Journal of Public

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of theory building in public procurement by reviewing and classifying manuscripts published in the Journal of Public Procurement (JoPP) from 2001 to 2016.

Design/methodology/approach

The articles are divided into four important periods: discovery, agenda setting, embracing and expansion and consolidation. The articles are classified according to a hierarchical level of theory building composed of six levels: rapporteurs, reporters, testers, qualifiers, builders and expanders.

Findings

Key findings indicate that public procurement, in light of JoPP publications from 2001 to 2016, is at the tester level. There is also increase in the classification of articles with high level of theoretical contribution over time.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Hong‐Wei He and John M.T. Balmer

This article has an explicit purpose of making a theoretical contribution to the issue of senior management cognitions of the corporate identity/corporate strategy…

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5562

Abstract

Purpose

This article has an explicit purpose of making a theoretical contribution to the issue of senior management cognitions of the corporate identity/corporate strategy interface. The aim of this research is to particularise the nature and saliency of this interface to corporate marketing scholars and practitioners alike.

Design/methodology/approach

This article adopts a grounded theory methodology and is informed by three in depth case studies undertaken among three building societies (mutuals) operating within the British Financial Services Industry.

Findings

The results confirm the saliency of the corporate identity/corporate strategy dyad vis‐a‐vis the comprehension and management of contemporary organisation. Theoretically, the study finds that senior management's cognitions of the corporate identity/strategy interface are interdependent, symbiotic and dynamic in nature: the nature of the dyad differed among the three institutions examined. In terms of the nascent domain of corporate marketing, this study confirms the extant literature, which suggests that, in addition to comprehending the psychology of customers and other stakeholders, the psychology of senior managers is also highly germane.

Practical implications

Within corporate marketing contexts, organisations should be mindful of the critical importance of the corporate identity/strategy interface; a concern for the above should be an important part of their corporate marketing as well as regulatory and strategic deliberations. However, senior managers should note the inherent dangers to identity maintenance where material alignment between corporate identity and strategy is ignored and where cognitive alignment is adopted as a surrogate: the former entails a synchronisation of facts whereas the latter entails the calibration of beliefs vis‐à‐vis corporate identity and strategy.

Originality/value

This is a major theorybuilding study, which examines managerial cognitions of the corporate identity/strategy interface and a major study of its type within the British Building Society sector.

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1993

Jack Meredith

Identifies the significant role of conceptual research methods intheory building and contrasts it with the theory‐testing researchcurrently prevalent in operations…

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3230

Abstract

Identifies the significant role of conceptual research methods in theory building and contrasts it with the theory‐testing research currently prevalent in operations management. The research stages of description, explanation and testing are used to distinguish between theory building and theory testing. Short‐circuiting any one of these stages results in dysfunctional research activities which produce war stories, black boxes, or ivory‐tower prescriptions. Defines some terms relevant to conceptual research methods and describes different conceptual classification schemes. Finally, discusses the differences between conceptual models, frameworks, and theories and illustrates each method with examples from the literature.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Ólavur Christiansen

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a supplementary definition of quality and quality‐building in business. This supplementary definition is the outcome of a…

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1084

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a supplementary definition of quality and quality‐building in business. This supplementary definition is the outcome of a predominantly inductive research approach that has been delimited to the conceptual explanation of the main concern and its recurrent solution of those involved in the operation and management of businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Classic grounded theory (CGT) has been used as the methodology. The main hallmark of CGT is concept and theory generation directly from data, while delimiting to the most important and problematic for those being studied. A rethinking of existing concepts takes place during one of the last stages of a CGT study. During this stage, the concepts of the generated theory are conceptually compared to the literature.

Findings

When the building blocks of the generated CGT of business and management were compared to the existing literature, the generated concept of “confidence‐building” emerged as a close conceptual synonym to “quality‐building”. Confidence‐building is understood as the application of certain trust‐building techniques (“saming”, transparency, distinguishing) that facilitate the modification or maintenance or prevention of people's behaviour (i.e. own, employees', customers', suppliers', etc. behaviour) in such a manner that the company's survival or growth is sustained.

Originality/value

This kind of analysis has not been done before. One implication of this rethought quality concept is that all issues pertaining to people relationships in business become an inseparable part of the quality issue – as well as issues like HRM, marketing, organisational adjustments and strategic decision making.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

Thomas D. Beamish and Nicole Woolsey Biggart

Following Philip Selznick’s lead in using pragmatist social science to understand issues of public concern we conducted a study of failed innovation in the commercial…

Abstract

Following Philip Selznick’s lead in using pragmatist social science to understand issues of public concern we conducted a study of failed innovation in the commercial construction industry (CCI). We find that social heuristics – collectively constructed and maintained interpretive decision-making frames – significantly shape economic and non-economic decision-making practices. Social heuristics are the outcome of industry-based “institutionalization processes” and are widely held and commonly relied on in CCI to reduce uncertainty endemic to decision-making; they provide actors with both a priori and ex post facto justifications for economic decisions that appear socially rational to industry co-participants. In the CCI – a project-centered production network – social heuristics as shared institutions sustain network-based social order but in so doing discourage novel technologies and impede innovation. Social heuristics are actor-level constructs that reflect macro-level institutional arrangements and networked production relations. The concept of social heuristics offers the promise of developing a genuinely social theory of individual economic choice and action that is historically informed, contextually situated, and neither psychologically nor structurally reductionist.

Details

Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-726-0

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Marc van den Berg, Hans Voordijk and Arjen Adriaanse

The purpose of this study is to explore how demolition contractors coordinate project activities for buildings at their end-of-life. The organizations are thereby…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore how demolition contractors coordinate project activities for buildings at their end-of-life. The organizations are thereby conceptualized as information processing systems facing uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study methodology was selected to gain in-depth insights from three projects with different end-of-life strategies: a faculty building (material recycling), a nursing home (component reuse) and a psychiatric hospital (element reuse). Using a theory elaboration approach, the authors sought to explain how and why demolition contractors process information for end-of-life coordination.

Findings

End-of-life strategies differ in the degree of building, workflow and environmental uncertainty posed to the demolition contractor. Whether or not a strategy is effective depends on the (mis)match between the specific levels of uncertainty and the adopted coordination mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications

The explanatory account on end-of-life coordination refines information processing theory for the context of (selective) demolition projects.

Practical implications

The detailed case descriptions and information processing perspective enable practitioners to select, implement and reflect on coordination mechanisms for demolition/deconstruction projects at hand.

Originality/value

Reflecting its dual conceptual-empirical and inductive-deductive focus, this study contributes with new opportunities to explain building end-of-life coordination with a refined theory.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Abstract

Details

Journalism and Austerity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-417-0

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2019

Zehra Waheed and Stephen O. Ogunlana

This study aims to investigate projects as social exchange networks, focussing on identifying knowledge brokers within the project network where they are key holders and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate projects as social exchange networks, focussing on identifying knowledge brokers within the project network where they are key holders and disseminators of end-user needs. The purpose is to augment current theory through a practice lens so that building end-user requirements can be better incorporated in evolving project ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive, an inductive case study is used to map knowledge brokers during a complex construction and co-location project. During the wider study, a variety of methods including archival data, interviews and questionnaires along with social network analysis (SNA) were used. The mixed methodology used has been pivotal in the triangulation of data from various sources. However, the output of SNA presented in this paper relies mostly on interviews and questionnaires administered to the project’s core network. Network relationships were mapped with knowledge of user requirements, being the key determinant of the binary relationships between actors.

Findings

The research found certain roles to be central knowledge brokers of knowledge related to end-user processes, including real estate and strategic planning, building operations and management, human and environmental factors, planning and project management and facility and service delivery. The knowledge of the above roles, albeit in a contextually situated case study, augments current understanding of which roles to tap on during project execution for better representation of end-user needs.

Practical implications

The research site is representative of a complex network of construction project stakeholders, including several categories of end-users and their representatives. The study demonstrates the use of the project-as-practice approach, whereby project theory is seen to emerge directly from practice. This has impact on practice as emergent theory about knowledge transfer and knowledge brokerage is essentially practice-led and hence more useful and relate-able to practitioners.

Originality/value

Research presented here is novel in terms of its approach towards understanding end-user needs such as need for privacy, control, attachment and interaction during construction projects. This is done through the identification of relevant knowledge brokers. The study uses SNA as an analytical tool to map knowledge transfers through the project’s network. End-user requirements are usually captured in the front-end of projects as specifications and deliverables, as new challenges emerge during execution, changes are required to the project’s direction and outcomes. It is therefore imperative that end-user needs are re-identified through knowledge brokers holding key knowledge. This allows project managers to prepare appropriate responses to changing project ecosystems.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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