Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development

Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development

Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development

Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development


InGreat Minds in Management, Ken G. Smith and Michael A. Hitt have brought together some of the most influential and original thinkers in management. Their contributions to this volume not only outline their landmark contributions to management theory, but also reflect on the process of theory development, presenting their own personal accounts of the gestation of these theories.

The result is not only an ambitious and original panorama of the key ideas in management theory presented by their originators, but also a unique collection of reflections on the process of theory development, an area which to date little has been written about by those who have actually had experience of building theory.

In their concluding chapter, Ken G. Smith and Michael A. Hitt draw together some common themes about the development of management theory over the last half a century, and suggest some of the conclusions to be drawn about how theory comes into being.


Chris Argyris, Albert Bandura, Jay B. Barney, Lee R. Beach, Kim Cameron, Michael R. Darby, Robert Folger, R. Edward Freeman, Michael Frese, J. Richard Hackman, Donald C. Hambrick, Michael A. Hitt, Anne S. Huff, Gary P. Latham, Edwin A. Locke, Henry Mintzberg, Terrence R. Mitchell, Richard T. Mowday, Ikujiro Nonaka, Greg R. Oldham, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Lyman W. Porter, Denise M. Rousseau, W. Richard Scott, Ken G. Smith, Barry M. Staw, Richard M. Steers, Victor H. Vroom, Karl E. Weick, Oliver E. Williamson, Sidney G. Winter, and Lynne Zucker


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and
leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

THEORY provides the base for knowledge and understanding of important relationships in various disciplines. Theory development is highly important in the discipline of management and organizations as it is a relatively young Weld of study, in comparison to many other social science disciplines. As a young Weld of study, new theory provides important and unique insights that can advance the Weld's understanding of management phenomena. In fact, much of the theory used in management and organizational research has been derived from the social science disciplines of economics, psychology, and sociology; although new distinctive management theory has been developed, these theories are still in a developmental stage. Many of the most prominent theories used in the Weld of management and organizations are examined in this handbook.

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