Challenging Proposals from European Scholars
Edited by Stephanie Dameron and Thomas Durand
Chapter 3: Management as a Basic Academic Field: Foundation, Roots and Identity
1 Armand Hatchuel 3.1 INTRODUCTION: SOLVING THE ‘TRANSLATION PROBLEM’ IN MANAGEMENT RESEARCH: A EUROPEAN APPROACH The management literature has documented a wide range of criticism about the orientation and relevance of standard management research (Starkey and Madan 2001; Shapiro et al. 2007). It has also advocated an enhancement and enrichment of the methods and epistemology of the field (Nodoushani 2000; Hatchuel 2001, 2005; Huff and Huff 2001; Starkey and Madan 2001; Weick 2001; Van de Ven 2006). The US Academy of Management has also repeatedly encouraged similar evolutions of the field (Huff 2000; Cummings 2007). Thus, there is now a widely recognised debate about the future of management research, and the academic conversation should, therefore, explore and discuss alternative currents in management research. Among several possible ways, special attention should be given to some European approaches where neither the post-war turn towards quantitative factor performance-based statistical analysis, nor the view of management as an applied social science, has encompassed the whole field. In this chapter we overview one of these currents that has been labelled a ‘foundationalist’ perspective in management research (FPM) (David et al. 2001; Hatchuel and David 2007). The word ‘foundationalist’ comes from a collaborative book published in 2001 entitled Les nouvelles fondations des management sciences [The new foundations of management science]2 (David et al. 2001). If FPM had its roots in the French academic context, its development had deep connections with other European trends in management. It has been nurtured by long cooperation with Swedish researchers...
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