In a previous post, it was demonstrated that researchers can play two different roles, as they can either build or test theories. An SMJ article by Miller and Tsang (2011), which is titled Testing management theories: Critical realist philosophy and research methods, focuses on the latter role we can play. The authors claim: “Not only do we have a plurality of theories within management research, there is also no consensus about the criteria for evaluating theories.” Taking a critical realist perspective, they advance practical guidance for evaluating management theories by proposing a four-step approach to theory testing. This approach includes (1) identifying the hypothesized mechanisms, (2) testing for the presence of the mechanisms in the empirical setting, (3) testing isolated causal relations, and (4) testing the theoretical system. The authors underline that “steps 2 and 3 have been neglected for the most part”. In sum, a lot can be learnt about theory testing from this brilliant article.
Miller, K., & Tsang, E. (2011). Testing management theories: Critical realist philosophy and research methods. Strategic Management Journal, 32 (2), 139-158 DOI: 10.1002/smj.868
Every year, various organizations recognize excellence in research with awards for outstanding dissertations. What follows is a selection of awards related to our field. The Science Award for Supply Chain Management (€10,000 honorarium for the winner) is awarded by the German Logistics Association (BVL). The Stinnes Foundation gives the DB Schenker Award (€10,000) to dissertations related to transportation and logistics. The CSCMP’s Doctoral Dissertation Award ($5,000) is for doctoral students “who demonstrate significant originality and technical competence”. The Hans Ovelgönne Award (€3,500) is awarded by the German Association for Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME) to dissertations related to procurement. Emerald and the EFMD sponsor the Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards (€1,500). The Elwood S. Buffa Doctoral Dissertation Award Competition ($1,500) recognizes the best dissertations written in the decision sciences. The IPSERA Doctoral Dissertation Award (€500) is given to the author of the best doctoral dissertation in the field of purchasing and supply management. Finally, the TSL Dissertation Prize ($500) is sponsored by the INFORMS Society on Transportation Science & Logistics. Good luck with your application.