REFINING COMMON SENSE: TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES *

REFINING COMMON SENSE: TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES * ABSTRACT Drawing on Pepper's World Hypotheses we describe four different approaches to obtaining formal knowledge in management studies. These approaches are: formism, mechanism, contextualism, and organicism. All of them are valid ways of refining common sense that resist synthesis. Applying Pepper's framework in as extremely diverse a field as management studies (focusing on organizational behaviour (OB) and strategic management (SM) in particular) we show the different assumptions and knowledge claims made by different types of theorists in management and, moreover, we shed light on the sources of conceptual rivalry that often characterize the field. By way of illustration, the Mintzberg‐Ansoff debate on the nature of strategic management is focused upon for closer examination. It is shown that analysing this debate in terms of Pepper's framework one can understand and evaluate the epistemological differences between Mintzberg and Ansoff, which stem from their adherence to contextualist and mechanistic‐cum‐formistic types of knowledge respectively. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management Studies Wiley

REFINING COMMON SENSE: TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES *

Journal of Management Studies, Volume 31 (6) – Nov 1, 1994

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0022-2380
eISSN
1467-6486
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-6486.1994.tb00638.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Drawing on Pepper's World Hypotheses we describe four different approaches to obtaining formal knowledge in management studies. These approaches are: formism, mechanism, contextualism, and organicism. All of them are valid ways of refining common sense that resist synthesis. Applying Pepper's framework in as extremely diverse a field as management studies (focusing on organizational behaviour (OB) and strategic management (SM) in particular) we show the different assumptions and knowledge claims made by different types of theorists in management and, moreover, we shed light on the sources of conceptual rivalry that often characterize the field. By way of illustration, the Mintzberg‐Ansoff debate on the nature of strategic management is focused upon for closer examination. It is shown that analysing this debate in terms of Pepper's framework one can understand and evaluate the epistemological differences between Mintzberg and Ansoff, which stem from their adherence to contextualist and mechanistic‐cum‐formistic types of knowledge respectively.

Journal

Journal of Management StudiesWiley

Published: Nov 1, 1994

References

  • The design school: Reconsidering the basic premises of strategic management
    Mintzberg, Mintzberg
  • Learning 1, planning 0: Reply to Igor Ansoff
    Mintzberg, Mintzberg
  • The status of management research as a practically‐oriented social science
    Whitley, Whitley
  • The fragmented state of management studies: Reasons and consequences
    Whitley, Whitley

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