Jesper Blomberg: Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: In this paper, two rather different theories of action are identified within the field of “managerial and organizational cognition”. These theories are expressions of the two fundamentally different Weltanschuungen of scientism and humanism. The two theories and their different ontological and epistemological foundations are described in the paper. Both the identified theories of action and their related philosophical attitudes are in many respects contradicting each other. Within the field of managerial and organizational cognition, these contradictions are not treated in a very elaborated or even conscious fashion. This hinders the development of theory, as well as makes the results from specific studies hard to interprete and evaluate. This paper is meant to remedy this lack of consciousness and elaboration. From the descriptions of the two identified theories of action, a third theory of action, that synthesizes many of the identified contradictions, is sketched out. It is also concluded that the suggested theory has apparent implications for what can pass as “good” empirical research in organizational analysis.
26 pages, February 7, 2001
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