Optimizing concepts: conceptual engineering in the field of management - the case of routines research

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Abstract

The paper outlines a novel perspective for theory building by showing how methods of conceptual engineering enable systematic development of conceptual competences. Conceptual engineering is a hot topic in philosophy, with many interesting achievements and applications. Using it in organization and management theory may shed new light on the most typical conceptual strategies in theory building, so-called conceptualizations and reconceptualizations, and help systematically improve them. Focusing on organization and management theory, the paper introduces conceptual engineering as a tool to optimize concepts in the management field, and builds a proof of concept on two selected examples from routines research. Besides paving a new way in theory development, conceptual engineering gives an interesting solution to the rigor–relevance problem as it shows that the scientific perspective on the practical relevance of a theory requires rigor on the level of concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-724
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

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