EDEN Doctoral Seminar on Conceptual Paper Development and Theory Building in Management and Organization Studies (Brussels, June 26-30, 2017)

Programme Coordinator & Faculty:
Sascha Albers, Professor of International Management, Dept. of Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium (Programme Coordinator)
Jenny Gibb, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Strategy and HRM, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Purpose & Content:
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 new theory. Every PhD student will attempt to develop theory in at least one of the aforementioned ways.

The key purpose of this course is to increase participant understanding of how to identify and read theories, as well as to apply theory building techniques in management. We purposely aim to provide a broad range of understanding of theory in this course for two key reasons. First, it is important to be able to identify and understand a range of different theory types. Second, it is critical that participants are able to differentiate theory proper, from proximate constructs such as models and frameworks, which themselves may constitute important, valuable and significant conceptual contributions.

Hence, the theme and rationale for calling this course: Conceptual paper development and theory development. Theory papers are sometimes called the most difficult and the most prestigious art of scholarly paper writing. 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.

This course will also encourage participants to improve their analytical abilities to critically evaluate contemporary management research.

Further Information and Application