In this paper we argue that unobservable constructs lie at the core of a number of influential theories used in the strategic management literature—including agency theory, transaction cost theory, and the resource‐based view of the firm. The debate over how best to deal with the problem of unobservables has raged in the philosophy of science literature for the best part of the current century. On the one hand, there are the positivists, who believe that theories containing unobservable constructs are only useful as tools for making predictions. According to positivists, such theories do not inform us about the deep structure of reality. On the other hand, there are the realists, who believe that our theories can give us knowledge about unobservables. Herein we review this debate, we argue for adopting a realist position, and we draw out the implications for strategic management research.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1995
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera