Introduction to the Special Issue: Theory Pluralism and Incommensurability in Strategic Management and Organization Theory: A Problem in Search of a Solution
ORGANIZATION, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 147-168, 1998
28 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2007
Research in management has become more and more differentiated and complex. In organization theory and strategic management one can find different approaches, concepts, and theories, which are not only diverse, but often give contradictory advice. Therefore, it has become difficult for both the researcher and the practitioner to find appropriate answers to theoretical and practical problems. This is especially true in a situation of incommensurability where no objective frame of reference to evalute competing perspectives exists. Although in organization theory this problem has been discussed for over 20 years, no acceptable solution has been found. Instead, as recent paradigm discussions have shown, the differences have become even greater. The purpose of this special issue is to review the current state of the pluralism discussion in organization theory and to find new ways to handle the problems of pluralism, diversity, and incommensurability. In this paper I will give an introduction to the special issue. I will explain the concept of incommensurability and will review the paradigm discussion in strategic management and organization theory. In the second part of the paper I will give an overview of the contributions to this special issue.
Keywords: theory pluralism, strategic management, incommensurability, organization theory
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