Theory of Science Perspectives on Strategic Management Research: Debates and a Novel View

36 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007

See all articles by Nicolai J. Foss

Nicolai J. Foss

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategy and Innovation

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Arguments derived from the theory of science have been present in strategic management discourse since at least the beginning of the 1970s. The field's top-journal, the Strategic Management Journal, has printed several theory of science-based papers. Most positions in the theory of science (falsificationism, instrumentalism, realism, constructivism, etc.) have been present in the methodological discourse in the field. This chapter briefly reviews theory science applications to strategic management, before a distinctive perspective on the evolution of the strategic management field is developed. According to this perspective, science progresses when deeper level mechanisms are identified and theorized. Theoretical reduction may therefore be an independent criterion of scientific progress. Application to the strategic management field of this perspective, which in the social sciences is closely connected to the notion of methodological individualism, reveals that the field has evolved in a manner akin to a swinging pendulum, oscillating between micro and macro perspectives.

Keywords: The theory of science, strategic management, reduction

JEL Classification: B40, M1

Suggested Citation

Foss, Nicolai J., Theory of Science Perspectives on Strategic Management Research: Debates and a Novel View (June 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999311 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.999311

Nicolai J. Foss (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategy and Innovation ( email )

Kilen
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

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