This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies—from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
I appreciate the helpful comments of Paul Adler, Kennith Bettenhausen, Constance Gersick, James Frederickson, James Jucker, Deborah Myerson, Dorothy Leonard-Barton, Robert Sutton, and the participants in (the Stanford NIMH Colloquium. I also benefitted from informal conversations with many participants at the National Science Foundation Conference on Longitudinal Research Methods in Organizations, Austin, 1988.
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The Academy of Management Review
Description:The Academy of Management Review, now in its 26th year, is the most cited of management references. AMR ranks as one of the most influential business journals, publishing academically rigorous, conceptual papers that advance the science and practice of management. AMR is a theory development journal for management and organization scholars around the world. AMR publishes novel, insightful and carefully crafted conceptual articles that challenge conventional wisdom concerning all aspects of organizations and their role in society. The journal is open to a variety of perspectives, including those that seek to improve the effectiveness of, as well as those critical of, management and organizations. Each manuscript published in AMR must provide new theoretical insights that can advance our understanding of management and organizations. Most articles include a review of relevant literature as well. AMR is published four times a year with a circulation of 15,000.
Coverage: 1976-2012 (Vol. 1, No. 1 - Vol. 37, No. 4)
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Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Business & Economics, Business, Sociology, Social Sciences
Collections: Arts & Sciences IV Collection, Business & Economics Collection, Business I Collection, JSTOR Essential Collection