A1 Journal article (refereed)
Structural Correspondence Between Organizational Theories (2021)

Aksom, H., & Firsova, S. (2021). Structural Correspondence Between Organizational Theories. Philosophy of Management, 20(3), 307-336. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40926-021-00163-3

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Aksom, Herman; Firsova, Svitlana

Journal or series: Philosophy of Management

ISSN: 1740-3812

eISSN: 2052-9597

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 26/01/2021

Volume: 20

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 307-336

Publisher: Springer

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40926-021-00163-3

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74389


Organizational research constitutes a differentiated, complex and fragmented field with multiple contradicting and incommensurable theories that make fundamentally different claims about the social and organizational reality. In contrast to natural sciences, the progress in this field can’t be attributed to the principle of truthlikeness where theories compete against each other and only best theories survive and prove they are closer to the truth and thus demonstrate scientific knowledge accumulation. We defend the structural realist view on the nature of organizational theories in order to demonstrate that despite the multiplicity of isolated and competing explanations of organization-environment relations these theories are still logically compatible and mutually consistent which, in turn, assures theoretical progress in the field. Although postulating different and incompatible ontologies, three most successful organization-environments theories, namely, contingency theory, new institutionalism and population ecology share the same explanations of the relations between organizations and environments at the structural level. Without this principle one would say that what occurs in the field of organization theory is a change rather than a progress.

Keywords: organisational research; organisational theories; contingency theory; institutionalism; structuralism; realism (philosophy); theory of science

Free keywords: institutional theory; structural realism; correspondence principle

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:03