This chapter provides a unique perspective on how to develop new theory. The chapter begins by describing what theory is not: it is not true, objective, or deductive. From there, the chapter explores what theory and theory development might actually be. In the most expansive section, the chapter articulates 20 points that constitute a unique approach to developing theory. These 20 points constitute a a rich set of observations on theory building that are more interesting and relevant than they are rigorous or tested.
Henry Mintzberg and Oliver Laasch
This chapter’s title “Mintzberg on (ir)responsible management”, is a play on words eluding to Henry’s seminal publication “Mintzberg on management”. Its purpose is to make Henry’s perspective on responsible management accessible, both for managerial practice and future research. We tie together the pearls of Henry’s wisdom on the string that is the extant responsible management literature: On the impossibility of ignoring social consequences; On rebalancing society through management; On irresponsibility in and outside the letter of the law; On responsible management puzzles; On responsibility to the ones closest to us; On the responsible action plane; On face-to-face responsibility; On judging managers by their (ir)responsibilities. Henry’s thought on responsible management is expressed in a manner that is frank and candid, controversial and political. It includes practical illustrations of (ir)responsible management practices in varieties of settings and cases, from tourist-trap restaurants in Paris, Uber, and Cambridge Analytica, to (ir)responsible leaders and managers like General Electric’s Jeffrey R. Immelt, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, Donald Trump, and Robert McNamara. Brief commentaries connect Henry’s ideas with the extant responsible management literature, and pinpoint salient implications, and future research directions.
Archie B. Carroll, Nancy J. Adler, Henry Mintzberg, François Cooren, Roy Suddaby, R. Edward Freeman and Oliver Laasch
What is responsible management? The responsible management field so far has been looking for a convergent one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Conversely, we choose to ask the grammatically incorrect, but generatively paradoxical question of “What are responsible management?” In response, this chapter features a rich potluck of six academic pioneers’ distinct conceptualizations of responsible management: Responsible management as responsibility management (Archie B. Carroll); as responsible leadership (Nancy J. Adler); as rebalancing society through management (Henry Mintzberg); as response-able situation management (François Cooren); as human(e) management and institutional character (Roy Suddaby); and as stakeholder harmonization (R. Edward Freeman). Each conceptualization is followed by a brief stylized interpretation of each pioneer’s perspective that links it to the extant responsible management literature. Finally, these responsible management conceptualizations are juxtaposed along the four categories of managerial agency, responsibility managed, sphere of responsibility, and management process. This juxtaposition serves to highlight each perspective’s distinctive features, and all perspectives’ joint contribution to a multifaceted understanding that can guide future study of responsible management.