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Hermeneutic Methodology and International Management Research


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  • Noorderhaven, N.G.

    (Tilburg University)


International management research seems to be victim of a identity crisis. It is not clear what makes international management different enough to regard it a separate research field. In this paper it is argued that this has to do with the tendency in international management research to adopt a methodology akin to the logical-empiricism of the natural sciences (the word ‘methodology is used here to refer to the ontological and epistemological assumptions on which research is based). If the challenges formed by the unique character of the field of international management are thought through radically, this leads to a turn away from the logical-empiricist model, and towards a methodology which does justice to the fundamental problems of bridging distance which are typical for international management. This distance can be of a geographical, social, political, economic, cultural or linguistic nature. The problem of bridging distances exists for practitioners of international management, as well as for researchers in this field. Hermeneutics, in which the problem of bridging the distance between an interpreting subject and the phenomena to be interpreted is given a central position, is discussed as a particularly fruitful methodology for international management research. As an example, a hermeneutic reading of a number of clinical studies of international joint ventures is presented.

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Paper provided by Tilburg University in its series Open Access publications from Tilburg University with number urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84047.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84047

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  1. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Understanding trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 219-240, October.
  2. Albert, Hans, 1988. "Hermeneutics and Economics: A Criticism of Hermeneutical Thinking in the Social Sciences," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 573-602.
  3. Edward Arrington, C. & Francis, Jere R., 1993. "Giving economic accounts: Accounting as cultural practice," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 107-124, April.
  4. Pennings, J.M. & Barkema , H. & Douma, S., 1994. "Organizational learning and diversification," Open Access publications from Tilburg University, Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-382776, Tilburg University.
  5. Aimin Yan, 1998. "Structural Stability and Reconfiguration of International Joint Ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(4), pages 773-795, December.
  6. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Building trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 417-437, January.
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