Ch3BriefOutline

Ch3BriefOutline - Chapter 3 Theory Building Brief Outline...

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Chapter 3 – Theory Building – Brief Outline Zikmund Lecture Content Concept of Theory – what it means to theory Ways of thinking – approaches to knowledge acquisition Terminology – basic terminology related to theory building Generating and Verifying Theories – how theories are constructed and tested Overview of the Scientific Method – seven steps in the application of the scientific method Concept of Theory The word theory comes from the Greek theoria which means to look at, to view, to scrutinize, to speculate. In other words, to theorize is to seek knowledge by attempting to penetrate below the surface of phenomena, to speculate as to underlying relationships. Ways of Thinking In order to better understand the use of theory—it is useful to compare the scientific way of thinking with other ways of thinking. We can do this by considering two continua along which thinking varies— empiricism versus ideation , and rationalism versus existentialism Postulational Self evident truth Method of authority Scientific method Literary Untested opinion Ch3BriefOutline.doc Empiricism (observable concrete data) Idealism (highly interpretative ideas) Rationalism (formal structured proofs) Existentialism (informal process)
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Rationalism versus existentialism – One way of viewing this continuum is in terms of the formality of the process through which we acquire knowledge. Rationalists say we get it through the exercise of reasoning and judgment. They believe that all knowledge can be derived from known laws or basic truths of nature. Problems are best understood through logic and mathematics. Existentialists see many things as inexplicable; they stress free choice, informality, and uniqueness. Existentialists believe that concrete individual existence takes precedence of abstract laws. Empiricism versus ideation – This continuum can be understood in terms of the extent to which knowledge is acquired through sensory experience or ideal abstractions Empiricists prefer to trust direct sensory experience—direct observation—or conclusions logically derived from experience. Empiricists insist, furthermore, that, under certain specified conditions, observations must be repeatable by other observers. Idealism, in contrast, is highly interpretative—based on extrapolation or elucidation of unverified abstract ideas. Idealists think in terms of things as they ought to be. At the philosophical level idealism argues believe that things—realities—exist only as ideas As shown in the preceding diagram, these two continua form four quadrants that locate six styles of thinking. Starting at the top and moving counterclockwise: Rationalism-idealism quadrant Postulational thinking —highly rational—very slightly toward the idealism end of the empiricism-idealism equation—reduces things to formal mathematical terms—typical of operations research, and computer simulations of market potential
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This note was uploaded on 09/16/2008 for the course BUAD 259 taught by Professor Phares during the Spring '07 term at Mary Washington.

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Ch3BriefOutline - Chapter 3 Theory Building Brief Outline...

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