Department of Management


Date of this Version



Academy of Management Review - July 1978, pp. 683-687.


Published by Academy of Management. Used by permission.


In April 1977, we introduced the concept of a General Contingency Theory (GCT) of Management and proposed for its development a conceptual framework to integrate and synthesize diverse process, behavioral, and management science concepts and techniques (3). In their critique of GCT, Longenecker and Pringle (2) have argued that the concept of a contingency-based general theory of management is illusory, too ill-defined and nebulous to serve as a truly viable general theory. Our response is offered to clarify some of the points they raise and stimulate a continuing dialogue over the GCT construct which will hopefully contribute to the development of the field of management.