Referents in Management Research - Towards Greater Consciousness of Intent and Process of Research.

Sankaran, K (2005) Referents in Management Research - Towards Greater Consciousness of Intent and Process of Research. TAPMI, Manipal.

TWP39_05_Referents in Mgmt.pdf

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There is acute awareness now that proper management strategy making is neither based on algorithmic-type rational procedures nor based on gutsy level feelings of the manager. It now appears that Action Research has important lessons for management. Action Research-based strategy making would take into account the decision maker, the face-to-face others and third-person others. Research-based strategy making is required not only to make efficient and effective decisions but also to deftly deal with multiple stakeholders who are impacted by and have a say in the affairs of the organisation. This paper first discusses the scientific antecedents of research. Next it draws the distinction between basic and applied research. The paper posits that there is an inherent tension between management practice and theory which leads to undue expectations of researchers contributing directly to actual practice. To lessen this, this paper suggests that practitioners and theoreticians understand the implications management research’s antecedents. The scientific and positivist paradigm has equated the process of management research with that of natural science research. This is misleading. The theory – practice continuum, this paper argues, has three principal custodians – viz., the practitioner, the consultant and the researcher. Each of these has its separate referents. Viewed in this manner, we can see that the custodian of applied research is the consultant while that of pure research is the researcher. Such a view has implications on matters such as breadth and depth of research, analytic induction and enumerative induction, mutuality of pure and applied research, expedient practice versus patient theory building, and finally the primacy of referents. Having established the importance of referents on pure and applied management research, this paper explores how new forms of referents are being addressed in management research. This is done by describing recent studies in management that fall within the rubric of Action Research. Three types of action research are described. Type-I subsumes under it the referents discussed under pure and applied research. This paper shows how the other two types (Type-2 and Type-3) generate new referents that traditional pure versus applied continuum has generally ignored. Finally the paper shows how the idea of referents is linked to greater clarity of research intent and research process.

Item Type: TAPMI Working Papers
Uncontrolled Keywords: Management Research; Research Methods; Ethics
Subjects: General Management
General Management > Management Education
Divisions: General Management and Enterpreneurship
Depositing User: Ms. Vanitha K
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2018 05:08
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2018 05:54

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