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The institutional logics of rigor and relevance: An analysis of the rigor-relevance relationship and its impact on management research legitimacy

Ted A Paterson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The rigor-relevance gap in management research has been hotly debated and contested for more than half a century. Despite the hundreds of scholarly articles dedicated to the topic, however, empirical examination has been surprisingly rare. Moreover, the existing empirical studies have been largely atheoretical. By addressing the issue through the lens of institutional theory, this dissertation advances the rigor-relevance debate by exploring rigor and relevance as institutional logics. Further, a historical analysis of this debate adds to the literature on institutional logics by providing an example of coexisting logics that have endured over time and that continue to jointly affect actors in the institutional field. This historical analysis spans from 1881 to present day and provides examples of the forces that institutionalized the logics of rigor and relevance. The empirical analysis bolsters prior empirical evidence by improving upon prior methodologies by testing the relevance of 98 meta-analytic conclusions with two field studies of over 300 practicing managers. This methodology allows for an exploration of the logics of rigor and relevance and their impact on scholarly legitimacy to date using more rigorous indicators of each. The question of which managers find management research findings most relevant is also asked and answered. Finally, comparisons are made between various fields of study within the micro management disciplines with respect to their relevance for practitioners.^

Subject Area

Sociology, General|Sociology, Organization Theory|Sociology, Organizational

Recommended Citation

Paterson, Ted A, "The institutional logics of rigor and relevance: An analysis of the rigor-relevance relationship and its impact on management research legitimacy" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3617435.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3617435

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