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The future of strategic management research: assessing the quality of theory borrowing

Kenworthy, T. P. and Verbeke, A. (2015) The future of strategic management research: assessing the quality of theory borrowing. European Management Journal, 33 (3). pp. 179-190. ISSN 0263-2373

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2015.03.007


In many business schools, the field of strategic management has been elevated to the same status as more traditional subject areas such as finance, marketing and organizational behaviour. However, the field is rather unclearly delineated at present, as a result of the heavy usage of borrowed theories, a phenomenon we discuss in this article. For strategic management to become a legitimate subject area, truly at par with the more conventional fields taught in business schools, we recommend much stronger selectivity when borrowing theories from other areas of scholarly inquiry than management, as the foundation of empirical work. We propose a new model consisting of seven quality tests to assess whether proper selectivity is being applied when ‘importing’ concepts from other fields than management. Our perspective has major implications both for future, evidence-based strategic management research and for the field's key stakeholders such as strategy teachers, practitioners and policy makers – who rely on research outputs from strategy scholars.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:43933

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