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CANCELLED - Theory Building in Management Research

Course code
Course type
Doctoral Program Lecture
Weekly Hours
HS 2020
Prof. Dr. Nadine Kammerlander
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.
By the end of the course the PhD students will have gained skills and knowledge in (a) precisely defining constructs, (b) linking various constructs through causal relationships and processes, (c) deriving new or extending extant theoretical models based on those relationships. While the focus of this course is on theory building based on extant literature (as necessary for conceptual as well as empirical papers), insights from this course will also be applicable to theory building from cases.
·* Arend, R., Sarooghi, H., & Burkemper, A. (2015). Effectuation as Ineffectual? Applying the 3E Theory-Assessment Framework to a Proposed New Theory of Entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Review, forthcoming.·* Bacharach, S. (1989). Organizational theories: Some criteria for evaluation, Academy of Management Review, 14: 496-515.·* Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986).The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51: 1173-1182.·Bergh, D. (1993). Watch the time carefully: The use and misuse of time effects in management research. Journal of Management, 19(3): 683-705.·* Boyd B., Gove S., & Hitt M.A. (2005). Construct measurement in strategic management research: Illusion or reality? Strategic Management Journal, 26: 239-257.·Colquitt, J. A., & Zapata-Phelan, C. P. (2007). Trends in theory building and theory testing: A five-decade study of the Academy of Management Journal. Academy of Management Journal, 50(6), 1281.·* Corley, K. & Gioia, D. (2011). Building Theory About Theory Building: What Constitutes a Theoretical Contribution?Academy of Management Review, 36: 12-32. ·Eisenhardt, K. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4): 532-550.·* Ghoshal, S. (2005). Bad management theories are destroying good management practices, Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(1): 75-91.·* Gioia, D. A., & Pitre, E. (1990). Multiparadigm perspectives on theory building. Academy of Management Review, 15(4): 584-602.·Handfield, R. B., & Melnyk, S. A. (1998). The scientific theory-building process: a primer using the case of TQM. Journal of Operations Management, 16(4), 321-339.·* Hitt, M., Beamish, P. W., Jackson, S., & Mathieu, J. 2007. Building theoretical and empirical bridges across levels: Multilevel research in management. Academy of Management Journal, 50: 1385-1399.·* Huff, A. S. (1999). Writing for scholarly publication. Sage.·Klein, K. J., Cannella, A., & Tosi, H. (1999). Multilevel theory: Challenges and contributions. Academy of Management Review, 24: 243-248.·* Langley, A. (1999). Strategies for theorizing from process data. Academy of Management Review, 24(4): 691-710.·Lewis, M & Grimes, A. (1999). Metatriangulation: Building theory from multiple paradigms. Academy of Management Review, 24: 672-690.·* Machamer, P., Darden, L. & Craver, C. L. (2000). Thinking about Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science, 67: 1-25.·Oswick, C., Fleming, P. & Hanlon, G. (2011). From borrowing to blending: Rethinking the processes of organizational theory building. Academy of Management Review, 36: 318-337.·Priem, R. L. & Butler, J. E. (2001). Is the Resource-Based "View" a Useful Perspective for Strategic Management Research? Academy of Management Review, 26: 22-40·Rindova, V. (2008). Publishing theory when you are new to the game. Academy of Management Review, 33: 300-303.·Shah, S. K., & Corley, K. G. (2006). Building Better Theory by Bridging the Quantitative–Qualitative Divide. Journal of Management Studies, 43(8): 1821-1835.·Suddaby, R., Hardy, C. & Huy, Q, (2011). Where are the new theories of organizations? Academy of Management Review, 36: 236-246.·* Sutton, R. I. & Staw, B. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40: 371-385·Tsang, E. W. K. (2006). Behavioral assumptions and theory development: The case of transaction cost economics. Strategic Management Journal, 27(11): 999-1011.·Van de Ven, A. H. (1989). Nothing is quite so practical as a good theory. Academy of management Review, 14(4): 486-489.·* Whetten, D. A. (1989). “What constitutes a theoretical contribution?,” Academy of Management Review, 14: 490-495.·Whetten, D., Felin, T & King, B. (2009). The practice of theory borrowing in organizational studies: Current issues and future directions, Journal of Management, 35: 537-563.
The PhD course will be delivered using a mixture of lecture-based and interactive teaching methods, including group assignments and feedback to PhD candidates on their own theory building.

First day:

  • The role of theory building in management research
  • Paradigms of theorizing
  • Overview: theory building in conceptual vs. empirical vs. case-based articles
  • Repetition and assessment of well-established theories (as well as perspectives that pretend to be theories)

Second day:

  • The role of construct definition
  • The “DNA of an argument” (including extensive group exercise)
  • The role of boundary conditions
  • The essence of a “theory” and a “good theoretical contribution:” Evaluation of the theoretical contribution from the Editor’s/Reviewer’s perspective

Third day:

  • Deep dive: Theorizing mediating and moderating effects
  • Deep dive: Theorizing on multiple levels
  • Student presentation of own reviews of theory building in recently published articles (teamwork)

Fourth day:

  • Presentation of own theory building and feedback by peers and professor
  • Outlook: Emergent (rather than causal) theory building
  • 30% review of theory building in published paper (teamwork)
  • 40% presentation own theory building (individual work)
  • 30% classroom participation
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