"Barry and Hansen have gathered an impressive array of contributors to speculate where the management and organization field might be headed. The Handbook offers refreshing and proactive insights that confront our assumptions about organizations and challenge us to expand our thinking and inquiry. It it must reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we look at, live in, and act on organizations."—Thomas G. Cummings, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern CaliforniaTen years ago critical theory and postmodernism were considered new and emerging theories in Business and Management. What will be the next new important theories to shape the field? In one edited volume, David Barry and Hans Hansen have commissioned new chapters that will allow readers to stay one step ahead of the latest thinking. Contributors draw on research and practice to introduce ideas that are considered 'fringe' and controversial today, but may be key theoretical contributions tomorrow. Each chapter sets these ideas in their historical context, lays out the key theoretical positions taken by each new approach and makes it clear why these approaches are different to more mainstream concepts. Throughout contributors refer to existing studies that show how these developing themes will change the Business and Management arena.Researchers, teachers and advanced students who are interested in the future of Business and Management scholarship will want to read this Handbook.
Chapter 73: The Tyranny of Theory
The Tyranny of Theory
What do I currently see as the biggest impediment to the advancement of a science of management and organizations? Theory –orat least what I will call the ‘tyranny of theory’.
The tyranny of theory manifests itself in many forms. It is the editor who rejects a manuscript for its lack of theoretical novelty or for its expected – often referred to as ‘obvious’ – empirical findings. It is the reviewer who complains that a paper does not have explicit, or (more absurdly) a large enough number of, hypotheses. It is the author who assigns new terminology to existing ideas. It is the reader denigrating a paper for its lack of a ‘big idea’.
One can most easily see the consequence ...