Working paper ‘Responsible management learning’

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RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT LEARNING: REFLECTING ON THE ROLE AND USE OF PARADIGMS IN SUSTAINABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, ETHICS RESEARCH

Oliver Laasch, Manchester Business School

Dirk C. Moosmayer, Nottingham University Business School China

Abstract

We conceptualize responsible management learning (RML) as process through which SRE knowledge is embedded into practice; through which SRE knowledge becomes socially relevant. Accordingly, creating knowledge suitable for RML is crucial. A first step for creating such knowledge is the application of research paradigms that match typical SRE research settings. We conduct a review of ‘mainstream’ research paradigms (positivism, rational choice theory) and ‘alternative’ paradigms (critical theory, critical realism, pragmatism, and social constructionism) and their applications in SRE research. We provide literature exemplars to illustrate how alternative research paradigms’ have been used in SRE research, and we empirically explore paradigm choice through the case of a RML research project. We find that the ‘domains of ideal use’ of conventional research paradigms have remarkable blind spots as they cover only a minor part of typical SRE research settings. This implies for SRE researchers to reflect on the adequateness of our paradigm choices, and on the implications for the relevance of SRE knowledge creation. We introduce a matrix tool to support researchers’ reflection on paradigm choice in SRE research.

Keywords

Responsible Management Learning; Social Relevance of Knowledge; Domain of Ideal Use; SRE Research; Sustainability; Responsibility; Ethics

Content Excerpts

Figure 1 Processes shaping the social relevance of SRE knowledge for RML

RMLConcept

 Table 1 Comparing paradigms and their respective applications in SRE research

Paradigms&SREResearch

Posted in Concepts, Publications, Responsible Management Toolbox