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Critical Realism and the Development of Management Theory

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steve VincentORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This chapter explores the development of management theory from the point of view of critical realist scholarship. It starts by considering the nature of management theory and different approaches to theory development: induction, deduction and abduction. We argue that abductive approaches are implicitly realist, even if researchers using an abductive approach to theory development are not explicit about this. The chapter then introduces critical realism, as a specific approach to abduction, before then considering how critical realism can be used as a tool for the development and integration of management theories.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vincent S, Hurrell S, Kozhevnikov A

Editor(s): Neesham, C; Reihlen, M; Schoenborn, D

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Handbook of Philosophy of Management

Year: 2022

Pages: 1-18

Print publication date: 29/07/2022

Online publication date: 29/07/2022

Acceptance date: 28/04/2022

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-48352-8_71-1

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/5wy4-9411

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783319483528