Building New Management Theory by Integrating Processes and Products of Thought

Joseph T. Mahoney, Ron Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article advocates that more strategy researchers and managers become engaged in an interactive, reciprocating research process, the objective of which is building pragmatic strategic management theory. To this purpose, the authors suggest how researchers and managers may engage in theory-building processes in which generalized theories of researchers and contextual theories of managers interactively evolve in a new model of double-loop learning. In particular, the authors suggest the following sequence of activities: (a) Researchers should propose integrative theories thought to be generally applicable; researchers and managers should then consider applicability of strategy theory to specific competitive contexts. (b) This strategic logic is then formulated by managers and applied to specific competitive contexts. (c) The market response leads to refining or to redefining the firm's strategic logic. (d) The firm's experience in formulating and in testing strategic logics inform researchers' efforts to develop new strategy theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-47
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Double-loop learning
  • Pragmatism
  • Theory building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Building New Management Theory by Integrating Processes and Products of Thought'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this