The Validity Idiographic Explanations

  • Tsoukas H
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Abstract

This paper attempts to address the question of whether organiza- tional explanations produced through idiographic studies can be re- garded as externally valid. It is argued that explanatory idiographic studies that are informed by a realist epistemology are, indeed, in a position to make general claims about the world. For realists, gener- ality is distinguished from recurrent regularities; instead, it is as- cribed to the operation of causal tendencies (or powers). The latter act in their normal way even when expected regularities do not occur. This is possible because the realization of causal tendencies is con- tingent upon specific circumstances, which may or may not favor the generation of certain patterns of events. Idiographic research con- ceptualizes the causal capability of structures, while at the same time it sheds light on the contingent manner through which a set of pos- tulated causal powers interact and gives rise to the flux of the phe- nomena under study. This

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Authors

  • Haridimos Tsoukas

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