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Strategic Management And Determinism: Sustaining The Conversation


  • Joseph T. Mahoney


This article suggests that strategy research should concern itself with continuing the conversation of the field rather than insisting upon a place for universal methodological criteria within that conversation. It attempts to sustain the dialogue begun by Bourgeois, Bowman, Jemison, Huff, and others, who recommend the pragmatic approach of methodological and theoretical pluralism as the best way forward in increasing empirical content. the article draws heavily on the philosophical writings of Dewey, Kaplan, and Rorty and the methodological essays of economists such as Boland, Caldwell, and McCloskey in an effort to persuade others in the strategy field that ‘good science is good conversation’. … once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversation in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’ Lewis Carroll (1865, p. 5)

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph T. Mahoney, 1993. "Strategic Management And Determinism: Sustaining The Conversation," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 173-191, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:30:y:1993:i:1:p:173-191
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.1993.tb00300.x

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    Cited by:

    1. William B. Gartner, 2001. "Is There an Elephant in Entrepreneurship? Blind Assumptions in Theory Development," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 25(4), pages 27-39, July.
    2. Mahoney, Joseph T., 1995. "The management of resources and the resource of management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 91-101, June.
    3. Alex Eapen & Rekha Krishnan, 2019. "Transferring Tacit Know-How: Do Opportunism Safeguards Matter for Firm Boundary Decisions?," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 715-734, July.

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