A practical guide for making theory contributions in strategic management

Document Type : Translation


1 PhD. Student of Business Management, Allameh Tabataba'i University of Tehran

2 MSc. of EMBA, University of Tehran


Rather than introducing radical new “grand theory” paradigms, most theory contributions in strategic management extend, clarify, or apply received theories in new and interesting ways. Here we offer a guide on how to make these kinds of contributions to theory. Theory usually begins with a research question, which can come from the phenomenon of interest, variations/limitations of existing theory, or intellectual creativity. Along with the question, there are a number of more craftsmanship-level aspects of a theory where contributions can be made: the mode of theorizing, the level of analysis, an understanding of the underlying phenomenon, causal mechanisms, constructs and variables, and boundary conditions. These aspects of the theory lead to a set of outcomes in the form of explanations, predictions, or prescriptions. The articles in this special issue are interpreted through our framework as illustrations of this approach to making theory contributions.


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