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Munish Thakur Submitted By: Akshay S Bhat Course: Advanced Research Methods On a cursory note the abstract of the paper tries to confide in the reader that most of the articles today focus less on theory development, rather, they are established theories’ critical accounts or they tend to focus on the process of theory construction. At the onset of the article the authors describe the problem at hand: that new theories are just not getting developed, rather that they continue to bank on the theories developed by researchers in the 1970’s. So much so that when they called the scholarly community for new theory what they received in return was a critique for the same, the critiques in their part too failed to develop any new theory but rather suggested and focused on the process of theory construction, the three things that the critique had in common were and I quote “Their critique has three main arguments: (1) as a discipline, we have failed to develop our own theories; (2) our theories fail to capture the rich manifestation of organizations in society; and (3)our research and theorizing is an inherently conservative practice.” The authors then immediately shift the focus to the problems we have at hand in theory generation. They quote scholars who have lamented over the fact that Management Science is not a fully developed independent stream and rather a stream that has borrowed from other disciplines like sociology, engineering et al. but also the authors quote other scholars critical of management science as an evolved independent discipline who concur within their retinue of followers that organizations today have become grounds where management theorists subject existing theories to the vagaries of new validation techniques. Also, the article points out that while management science has the prerogative to borrow from other fields for theory building, when it does borrow: basis over which theory is built; it also borrows the fallacies and shortcomings .And, that an immediate concern at hand to be addressed is the hiatus that is developing between management science and management practice, also to reaffirm the previous statement the authors state that the innovative ideas to the most difficult and challenging business problems have come from the practitioners themselves. This disconnect between management theory and practice needs to be bridged. But again there has been a need to appreciate the Organizational Sciences as a distinct field owing to the complexities involved as corporations have grown larger and more diverse, some organizations today in the US exist whose profits are more than the earnings of a few countries. The article then dwells on the problems of theory and why theory is not getting developed, the authors attribute it to three main reasons : one that we look for a problem and then a solution which just tends to be normal problem solving, second we tend to be narrow and as selfish scholars work on what can be published rather than work in our area of interest and develop something new which could actually add value to the field and third and lastly, the existing literature is looked to be sacrosanct with undesirable consequences to anyone who decides to subvert them.
The paper then talks about new ways of theorizing, and a map is provided to elucidate it with ease.
Figure 1 Taken from the paper to illustrate (taken as it is from the paper)
Finally after going in depth and describing the above heads the paper concludes by suggesting a few remedial solutions for improving theory building in organizational sciences, and cautions us that it is not only in books or the top tier journals we must take refuge in but also make genuine efforts to contribute and give theory suitable mind space.