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date: 21 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The first part of this chapter shows how critical realism moved from the work of philosopher Roy Bhaskar, to sociology, and social theory and from there to organization studies. While critical realism’s primary concern is ontology, it is not restricted to ontology because the latter influences a chain of meta-theoretical concepts, inter alia, aetiology, epistemology, methodology, research techniques, mode of inference, explanation, prediction, and theory. Parts two and three, therefore, offer critical realist interpretations, and critical evaluations, of two rival ontologies: empirical realism and idealism, and their associated meta-theoretical chains. Part four elaborates upon critical realism’s ontology and its associated meta-theoretical chain. The conclusion exemplifies the arguments of the chapter by showing that differing definitions of organizations are influenced by different underlying ontologies and their associated chain of meta-theoretical concepts.

Keywords: Roy Bhaskar, critical realism, ontology, empirical realism, idealism, aetiology, epistemology, methodology, mode of inference, explanation

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