Strategies of theory building

The goal of this on-going research project is to develop and refine strategies (approaches, methods, and techniques) of theorizing and theory building.

This project is led by Andy Lowe of Grounded Theory Institute in California. 

Our starting point in this project is that the researcher has to make a choice as to whether to test a hypothesis with data or whether to create a hypothesis which has been empirically generated. These two approaches are frequently referred to as deductive and inductive research strategies. Either approach is totally valid in a research. Neither should be considered to be more powerful or superior. They are both based on very different assumptions and require quite different evaluation criteria. One of the reasons it is unwise to claim that either deduction or induction is the only appropriate strategy for theory building is because elements of both induction and deduction are embedded in both approaches.

Having one of its aims to facilitate cross-disciplinary PhD training, this project commenced with the development of a PhD course on "The process of Theorizing and Theory Building in Management Research". This course encourages PhD researchers to develop critical faculties that will allow them to make the most appropriate choice of research strategy for theory development. This PhD course is a consortium between Aalborg University in Denmark, Halmstad University in Sweden and University of Oulu in Finland. The course was launched in 2013 at Aalborg University. More information about the course could be found here.  

Another aim of this project is to stay at the forefront of creating new knowledge and developing new understanding of strategies of theory building as well as theory building processes. In this, we build not only on extant knowledge, but also draw from the outputs and the outcomes generated by and emerged from our TBRP research projects:

Legitimation Theory

Collective Behaviour, Bubbles & Runaway Sentiments

Late Globalization, Re-globalization and Exo-globalization

High Impact Entrepreneurship