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Title: On the classification of business strategy
Author: O'Keefe, Michael
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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An enquiry into the origins, content and subsequent treatment of certain major business strategy classification schemes by Miles and Snow, Michael Porter and Henry Mintzberg found little supporting theory within existing organisational and management science literature for a principled critique thereof. Furthermore, there is little discussion within such literature that addresses the ontic and epistemic status of cross-cutting abstract institutional kinds that might apply to the categorisation of generalised strategic behaviours. Accordingly, this thesis develops an eclectic synthesis of theoretical contributions from philosophy, (Richard Boyd, John Dupre, Ian Hacking, Ruth Millikan, Amie Thomasson, inter alia), semiotics (e.g. Umberto Eco, George Lakoff) and cognitive science (especially, Susan Gelman and Douglas Medin) to produce a new, bespoke theoretical framework for the subsequent case studies of these business strategy classification schemes. It recognises the artifactual nature of such schemes and endorses a pragmatic and pluralistic approach that proposes a typology of classification schemes and acknowledges the possibility of intransigent homologating forces being responsible for at least some of the postulated similarities. It steers between essentialism and nominalism, in ’accommodationist’ mode. The framework recognises that some such schemes are more ’successful’ than others and attributes this to a number of their ontic and epistemic features in the three detailed case studies. The use (and abuse) of these schemes in our epistemic practices is critiqued. Some consequential recommendations are made concerning the promulgation and subsequent use in research and pedagogy of business strategy classification schemes. Recommendations that may hold wider relevance for social sciences in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available