Building theory about theory building

What constitutes a theoretical contribution?

Kevin Corley, Dennis Gioia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

492 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We distill existing literature on theoretical contribution into two dimensions, originality (incremental or revelatory) and utility (scientific or practical). We argue for a revision in the way scholars approach the utility dimension by calling for a view of theorizing that would enable theories with more "scope" (both scientific and practical utility). We also argue for an orientation toward "prescience" as a way of achieving scope and fulfilling our scholarly role of facilitating organizational and societal adaptiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-32
Number of pages21
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Volume36
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Theory building
Theorizing
Incremental

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

Cite this

Building theory about theory building : What constitutes a theoretical contribution? / Corley, Kevin; Gioia, Dennis.

In: Academy of Management Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 12-32.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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