"Capturing Causal Complexity" accepted to the AMR Special Topic Forum

Santi Furnari (Cass), Donal Crilly (LBS), Vilmos Misangyi (Penn State), Thomas Greckhamer (LSU), Ruth Aguilera (Northeastern), and Peer Fiss just got a manuscript entitled “Capturing causal complexity: A configurational theorizing process,” accepted to the AMR Special Topic Forum on The Role of Theory in Management Research, edited by Heather Haveman, Joseph Mahoney, and Elizabeth (Beta) Mannix. The abstract is below.

PS: You may have noticed that this is the same gang that published a recent review piece in JoM on “Embracing Causal Complexity: The Emergence of a Neo-Configurational Perspective” (JOM 2017). Yup, there is a pattern here.

May 26, 2020

Accepted to the AMR Special Topic Forum on The Role of Theory in Management Research

Capturing causal complexity: A configurational theorizing process

Santi Furnari (Cass), Donal Crilly (LBS), Vilmos Misangyi (Penn State), Thomas Greckhamer (LSU), Ruth Aguilera (Northeastern), Peer Fiss (USC); edited by Heather Haveman, Joseph Mahoney, and Elizabeth (Beta) Mannix

Management scholars study phenomena marked by complex interdependencies where multiple explanatory factors combine to bring about an outcome of interest. Yet, theorizing about causal complexity can prove challenging for the correlational theorizing that is predominant in the field of management, given its “net effects thinking” that emphasizes the unique contribution of individual explanatory factors. In contrast, configurational theories and thinking are well-suited to explaining causally complex phenomena. In this article, we seek to advance configurational theorizing by providing a model of the configurational theorizing process which consists of three iterative stages—scoping, linking and naming. In each stage, we develop and offer several heuristics aimed at stimulating configurational theorizing. That is, these theorizing heuristics are intended to help scholars discover configurations of explanatory factors, probe the connections among these factors, and articulate the orchestrating themes that underpin their coherence. We conclude with a discussion of how configurational theorizing advances theory development in the field of management and organizations, and beyond.