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Redirecting Research In Business Policy And Strategy

C. Camerer
Published 1985 · Economics

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Because business policy research has primarily been a series of inductive generalizations of case studies; theories have been typically ambiguous and untested, and have not progressed swiftly. Deductive theorizing, by contrast, yields clear, often non-obvious conclusions that can be debated effectively and generalized slowly; so realism of current models can be sacrificed for progress towards realistic future models. Deductive theorizing, with more attention to a game-theoretic definition of equilibrium and to recent ideas from economics, should be one new direction for policy research. Of course, these deductive models will inevitably draw their inspiration from the richness of careful observation and exhaustive checklist-making that are the hallmarks of induction. Specific avenues for new research are described, and the importance of teaching non-obvious theories is defended.
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