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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The philosophies that underpin studies of management ideas are rarely interrogated, which, it is argued here, leads to several difficulties for research in this field. This chapter makes explicit four philosophies which commonly underpin work in this area and argues that, among other limitations, their ontological strictures make interdisciplinary communication difficult. The chapter introduces critical realism, arguing that its stratified, emergent, and realist ontology can (partially) integrate the strengths from these different philosophies, whilst ameliorating their respective weaknesses. Finally, the chapter sketches out a critical realist conception of management ideas.

Keywords: management ideas, ontology, social constructivism, critical realism, positivism, interactionism

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