Setting out to dispel the argument that case study research lacks the science, theory, and therefore validity of other forms of research, Evert Gummesson combines many decades of experience as both a renowned scholar and a reflective practitioner to effectively bridge the divide between case theory and how it is applied in practice. Bringing the fundamental strengths of cases to the fore, Gummesson introduces the “Case Theory” concept as an expanded version of case study research which includes both methodology and the types of results that emerge by: • Guiding the reader in the theoretical and philosophical underpinning • Demonstrating how to translate theory to pertinent research practice that address the real and consequential issues in business and management today. Case Theory in Business and Management appeals to students, academics, and researchers who are interested in the science and philosophy behind case study research, as well as the methodology and a thought-provoking read for anyone who wants to be challenged about their belief of case study theory.
Chapter 3: The Complexity Paradigm
The Complexity Paradigm
Case theory is an effort to better address the complexity of business and management and the need to transform research and theory into simplicity, thus facilitating decision-making and action and reaching meaningful results. Case theory rests on the complexity paradigm; it is the paradigm-in-use.
A paradigm consists of axioms (postulates, absolutes, basic assumptions) which are chosen to constitute a firm ground on which a piece of research can rest. For example, free competition and free enterprise form the foundation of most Western markets; in socialist states the foundation is central government planning. The two paradigms lead to different types of research.
But it is a concocted ground; its firmness includes objective and factual elements as well as values and intentions, all ...