Developing Theoretical Contributions

Institution: see Organisers & Supporters

Programme of study: International Research Workshop

Lecturer: Assoc. Prof. Jenny Gibb (The University of Waikato, New Zealand)

Date: Monday, 11/09/17 – Wednesday, 13/09/17 (09:00 – 12:30)

Max. number of participants: 15

Credit Points: 5 CP for participating in the whole IRWS

Language of instruction: English


All research is based on theory, but not all theory is based on research. If this claim is true, it is essential for every scholar to understand what theory is, what theory is not, which types of theory there are, how to skillfully apply, extend, build on and connect extant theories and even, how to develop a new theory. In this course, we will examine why this is the case and work to systematically build understanding on how to develop theory and conceptual contributions. In working on theory and conceptual paper development we intend to deepen participants’ appreciation of theory building and to assist them to craft potentially valuable and effective research papers. The course has a practical orientation in that it is application centred. It is not a philosophy of science course.

Requirement of students: None.

Recommended literature and pre-readings:

  • Bettis, R. A., Gambardella, A., Helfat, C., & Mitchell, W. 2014. Theory in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 35(10): 1411-1413.
  • Corley, K. G. & Gioia, D. A. 2011. Building Theory about Theory Building: What Constitutes a Theoretical Contribution? Academy of Management Review, 36(1): 12-32.
  • Whetten, D. A. 1989. What Constitutes A Theoretical Contribution? Academy of Management Review, 14(4): 490-495.

You have to register for the 11th International Research Workshop to participate in this course.