Home > Research > Don’t assue old frameworks are always right and complete

Don’t assue old frameworks are always right and complete

September 18, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Did you ever claim some old frameworks and arguments are sustainable in spite of any possible changes or adjustment derived from the contextual variations?

I read McGahan (2007: 751) that argue one reason for papers didn’t offer managers integrative solutions is “papers sometimes failed [to offer managers integrative solutions, I added] because they argued old frameworks were complete, comprehensive, and timeless”

I am not sure whether I will make this kind of mistake in the future, but I do know a few scholars do have this kind of attitude. They argued research used the old framework is meaningless and can’t bring some thing new, even the one who proposed this critics may not really have the experience to do that kind of research or familiar with those topics.

This kind of attitude is really bad for promoting the progress of our research. This attitude seems assume there is some specific principles or laws like what natural science has. Actually, we all know it’s almost impossible in the field of social science, such as business administration, to have so much similar laws. And it may even imply that replication research is nonsense or useless to be one of research approaches to verify others’ arguments.

Personally, I don’t agree that kind of attitude, but surprised that people around me had faced amusements with this wrong attitude. At least, such a attitude doesn’t express an open mind toward inquiries from different perspectives and in different contexts.

I hope I don’t make this mistake if I have the opportunity to stay in the academic field.


McGahan, A. M. 2007. Academic research that matters to managers: On zebras, lemmings, hammers, and turnips. Academy of Management Journal, 50(4): 748-753.


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