All we are saying, is give theoretical pluralism a chance



Publication Details

Lowe, S., Magala, S. & Hwang, K. 2012, 'All we are saying, is give theoretical pluralism a chance', Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 752-774.


Purpose – The aim of this paper is to focus on methodological development of research into the influence of culture: the use of cross-cultural, multidisciplinary and multi-method techniques.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper begins with a review of the interdisciplinary debate in business research, general management, IB and cross-cultural management. It then explores the identities of paradigmatic combatants and possible “strategic peace initiatives”. It finally outlines some tactical and strategic complexities of such a “peace campaign” and identifies examples where multiple-lens research offers good potentials for “post-war” new theory development.

Findings – Ambitious calls for the advancement of interdisciplinary research in business research have appeared regularly and often feel like déjà vu. Cultural research appears to have been locked into paradigmatic “cold” warfare between methodologically distinct research “tribes”.

Originality/value – The authors' view is that culture can be likened to a holograph. It is not a real entity but a projection, which looks very different from different positions. The concern is that views of culture have been rather “monocled” and limited in relevance.

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