Theory of Knowledge and Core Theories in Management
Included in Study
School of Business and Law, PhD programme
Language of instruction
Students who have not had a master-level course in international business/management or organization theory are expected to develop knowledge in this area based on individual reading.
Upon successful completion of the course the student will:
• understand the role and interplay of ontology, epistemology, and methodology in management research.
• be able to contextualize their own research and find their ontological and epistemological position.
• choose and develop their methodology in line with their ontological and epistemological position.
• have a good understanding of core theories in management and their underlying ontological assumptions.
• be able to select, criticize and apply appropriate theories for their own studies.
The main course objectives are 1. to introduce the most important (prevalent) ontological and epistemological positions used in management research, and 2. to discuss, criticize and apply core theories in management.
• Theory of knowledge – ontology – epistemology - methodology
• The logic of social science explanation - What is a “good” theory and what theory is not
• Middle-range theory and “Grand” theory
• The role of theory in (international) management research
• Micro-level theories: Agency theory, Stewardship Theory, Self-determination theory
• Macro-level theories: Resource-based view, Transaction cost theory, Institutional theory
• Combining micro and macro-level: Social capital theory
• Is there a “Grand” theory in management research?
• Ethics in research
The course will be a combination of lectures and student discussions as well as presentations by the students.
Students are required to participate during lectures and class discussions and to do their own presentations on selected topics.
Assessment methods and criteria
Grading: Pass/Fail - where Pass must be equivalent to the letter grade B or better, and a successful completion of the following things:
1. Attendance of all and ACTIVE participation in all lectures
2. Presentations of articles or topics
3. Writing of an academic paper 2
The candidates must receive a “pass” in all 3 categories to obtain course credits.