Process Theory and Research: Exploring the Dialectic Tension
Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 233-250, 2006
37 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2005 Last revised: 8 Dec 2008
Date Written: 2006
We contest that although the notion of process is increasingly being applied to the study of organizations, these attempts are hampered by significant methodological shortcomings. The value of process theory is under-utilized because most attempts to apply process theory end up reverting to conventional non-process methods. We suggest that the cause of this reversion is primarily the challenge of making sense, of fixing the world, propelling us from process into the world of substance. To break free of these limitations we propose an approach that takes the researchers' audience alongside the subject processes rather than attempting to clinically intersect them. We illuminate this paper with our own story vignettes concerning the fortunes of an idea that passes by the name of Value Based Management. These vignettes are meant to create a tension in that they both exemplify and disrupt the theoretical narrative.
Keywords: Process research , philosophy of science, research methods, organization theory, value based management
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