A method for reconciling subjectivist and objectivist assumptions in management research
Application of objectivist methodological assumptions and overreliance on mathematical analysis can cause researchers to oversimplify reality and thereby generate rigorously derived theories and recommendations that lack practitioner relevance. Although mixed-methods approaches to management research have long been heralded, the details remain sparse about how to reconcile apparently disparate approaches. By reflecting on lessons learned over some 15 years of practical experience with a robust mixed-methods approach specifically designed to bridge the academia–practitioner gap, this article demonstrates how inclusion of an interpretive field perspective yields a much more comprehensive picture of the relationship between the organization and its contextual environment. Thus, a key purpose of this article is to stimulate researchers into adopting a more balanced portfolio of research methods that will simultaneously achieve research rigor and generate insightful practitioner-relevant theory.
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