Against the standard account of method.

Rod Thomas

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Explains why the debate initiated by Stephen Lloyd Smith’s plea to jettison the so-called ‘Standard Account of Method’ (SAM) is of the utmost importance to the teaching of management studies in British universities. Identifies a fully developed presentation of the SAM oppositional framework in a well-considered and widely used text-book and demonstrates that the book’s argument is logically unsound because it contains inconsistent propositions, invalid inferences and flawed scholarship. Summarises Karl Popper’s account of how logic, as the theory of argument, can be related to an empirical basis and uses it to demonstrate that there need be no great divide between nomothetic and ideographic research problems once appropriate distinctions are drawn between different forms of explanation. Nonetheless, questions the relevance of these research problems to the concerns of practising managers by highlighting the contrast, as made by philosophers, between social science and social technology. Concludes that the continued presentation and defence of SAM, as the conventional wisdom of how research philosophy and methodology ought to be taught to management students, is thoroughly lamentable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jul 2012
    EventPhilosophy of Management 2012 - St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK
    Duration: 21 Jul 2012 → …


    ConferencePhilosophy of Management 2012
    Period21/07/12 → …


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