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The Theory of the Business, Falsification and Avoiding Managerial Unawareness

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  • Doron Faran

    ()
    (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Ort Braude Academic College of Engineering, Karmiel, Israel)

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    Abstract

    Organizational strategy is based, too often implicitly, on a theory about the organization's environment. Although the falsity of this theory puts the entire strategy at risk, managers are usually unaware of both the theory and the peril. The issue of theory falsification is mostly associated with the philosopher Karl Popper, but unfortunately the management literature identifies with his rival, Thomas Kuhn. The wish to apply Popper's doctrine in the managerial context faces another difficulty – the formation of the theory. Whilst Popper sketches a hierarchical structure of a theoretic system, managers hold a one-tier theory-of-action that harms falsification. An adaptation of the Popperian method for the managerial context is suggested and examined through Action Research. The findings indicate that a careful extraction of an upper-level theory from the theory-of-action and its testing through derivable scenarios enables early falsification, namely before the actions are taken.

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    File URL: http://www.efos.hr/repec/osi/journl/PDF/InterdisciplinaryManagementResearchV/IMR5a08.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Faculty of Economics in Osijek, Croatia in its journal Interdisciplinary Management Research.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages: 89-101

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    Handle: RePEc:osi:journl:v:5:y:2009:p:89-101

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    Related research

    Keywords: Organizational learning; Philosophy of science; Strategy; Theory-of-action; Unawareness;

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    1. David Dequech, 2000. "Fundamental Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 41-60, Winter.
    2. Durand, Thomas & Mounoud, Eléonore & Ramanantsoa, Bernard, 1996. "Uncovering strategic assumptions: Understanding managers' ability to build representations," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 389-398, August.
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