Scholarly Views on the Nature and Types of Theory
The word theory emanated from the Greek word meaning “contemplate” It has been viewed by scholars in different ways. Theory can be defined literally as an explanation of phenomena and its associations with variables that it is attempting to predict. There are no general agreed definitions of theory because scholar’s views of what constitute theory differ based on the purpose, nature and what make up of a good theory (Gelso, 2006; Harlow, 2009; Stam, 2007, 2010; and Wacker 1998). For instance, Wacker, (1998), pointed out that a theory must have four basic criteria such as conceptual definitions, domain limitations, relationship-building, and predictions. He, also, opined that for any theory to be regarded as a good theory, it must have qualities for `good ' theory, such as “uniqueness, parsimony, conservation, generalizability, fecundity, internal consistency, empirical riskiness, and abstraction, which apply to all research methods” (p.364). Stam (2010) interpreted theory as ...
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..., and Austin, 2006). Moreover, scientific theories comprise of three parts which include, concepts or constructs, propositions or hypotheses or laws, and, if necessary, nomothetic nets (Larkins, and McKinney, 1980). Theory is often confused with some related concepts such as hypothesis, paradigm, model, and concept. Reductionism theory which I planned to use for my dissertation may add understanding of the field of management science in the sense that it will help managers and policy makers to tackle complex issues by breaking it down into smaller components. Even my dissertation, which involves study of organizational culture (complex issue) requires a reductionist approach of breaking down the organizational culture of the target entity of study; analyzes various component cultures, and use the outcome to make recommendations for unified organizational culture.
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