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Theory Construction as Disciplined Imagination
Karl E. Weick
The Academy of Management Review
Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 516-531
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/258556
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Social sciences, Words, Social theories, Radar, Narratives, Buildings, Narratology, Simulations, Artificial selection, Test theory
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The process of theory construction in organizational studies is portrayed as imagination disciplined by evolutionary processes analogous to artificial selection. The quality of theory produced is predicted to vary as a function of the accuracy and detail present in the problem statement that triggers theory building, the number of and independence among the conjectures that attempt to solve the problem, and the number and diversity of selection criteria used to test the conjectures. It is argued that interest is a substitute for validation during theory construction, middle range theories are a necessity if the process is to be kept manageable, and representations such as metaphors are inevitable, given the complexity of the subject matter.
The Academy of Management Review © 1989 Academy of Management