Paradigm “wars” as methodenstreit Methodology of management studies meets economic methodology

Paradigm “wars” as methodenstreit Methodology of management studies meets economic methodology Purpose – This paper is concerned with the quantitative/qualitative divide as a particular feature of recent methodological debate in organization research. While substantively this divide is questionable and problematic, it has figured prominently in the so‐called “paradigm wars”. The purpose of this paper is to relate these controversies to a similar debate in economics and draw out the implications of this comparison for the methodological practice of organization research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a conceptual critique. Findings – The paradigms debate can be interpreted as a twentieth‐century instance of the methodenstreit in nineteenth‐century social science, and is argued to resolve along the faultlines of mainline organizational analysis and its periphery. Further methodological progress in the field requires the abandoning of paradigmatic duality in recognition of methodological plurality as a defining feature of organization research. Originality/value – Management methodology and economic methodology have largely developed as separate literatures alongside each other, with little cross‐fertilisation. This paper links key issues in management methodology to longstanding debates in economic methodology, thereby making progress towards a shared debate on issues of equal significance to both fields of inquiry. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Organizational Analysis Emerald Publishing

Paradigm “wars” as methodenstreit Methodology of management studies meets economic methodology

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1934-8835
DOI
10.1108/19348831211215632
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper is concerned with the quantitative/qualitative divide as a particular feature of recent methodological debate in organization research. While substantively this divide is questionable and problematic, it has figured prominently in the so‐called “paradigm wars”. The purpose of this paper is to relate these controversies to a similar debate in economics and draw out the implications of this comparison for the methodological practice of organization research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a conceptual critique. Findings – The paradigms debate can be interpreted as a twentieth‐century instance of the methodenstreit in nineteenth‐century social science, and is argued to resolve along the faultlines of mainline organizational analysis and its periphery. Further methodological progress in the field requires the abandoning of paradigmatic duality in recognition of methodological plurality as a defining feature of organization research. Originality/value – Management methodology and economic methodology have largely developed as separate literatures alongside each other, with little cross‐fertilisation. This paper links key issues in management methodology to longstanding debates in economic methodology, thereby making progress towards a shared debate on issues of equal significance to both fields of inquiry.

Journal

International Journal of Organizational AnalysisEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 9, 2012

Keywords: Epistemology; Research methods; Economics; Management methodology; Economic methodology; Methodenstreit; Paradigm wars; Qualitative research; Heterodox approaches; Methodological pluralism

References

  • Alfred Marshall versus the historical school?
    Hodgson, G.M.
  • Defining qualitative management research: an empirical investigation
    Johnson, P.; Buehring, A.; Cassell, C.; Symon, G.
  • John Kells Ingram, the Comtean movement, and the English Methodenstreit
    Moore, G.C.
  • The Schmoller renaissance
    Peukert, H.
  • Historical schools of economics
    Tribe, K.

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