Title: Inductive, abductive and deductive theorising

Authors: Chitu Okoli

Addresses: SKEMA Business School – Université Côte d'Azur, Paris, France

Abstract: Scholars who aim to make a theoretical contribution are challenged to understand the broad range of approaches to theorising. Indeed, most theory-building guides focus on theorising within established paradigms, such as positivism or interpretivism. To provide a comprehensive perspective, we develop a unified framework that spans multiple research epistemologies by discussing theory-building from the perspective of inductive, abductive, and deductive theorising. Based on this framework, we present a simple way of thinking of theoretical contribution as development towards increasing maturity of theory. This theorising framework is sufficiently general to apply to any social science study that aims to build theory, whether empirical or conceptual. Moreover, the principles of theory-building are sufficiently general that they are readily applicable to a wide range of social sciences.

Keywords: theorising; theory-building; induction; abduction; deduction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2023.131769

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2023 Vol.16 No.3, pp.302 - 316

Received: 07 Jul 2022
Accepted: 23 Oct 2022

Published online: 30 Jun 2023 *

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