From Nuts and Bolts to Toolkits: On Theorizing with Mechanisms, Journal of Management Inquiry
This essay examines a mechanisms-based approach to theory building in organization studies and identified conditions under which such an approach is likely to be fruitful. Mechanisms-based theorizing is a promising path to reviving organization theory but has the potential pitfalls of overly reductionist models of organizations and the complete abandonment of grand theorizing. These undesirable side-effects can be reduced when researchers act as playful pragmatists and treat mechanisms as toolkits for working on theoretical puzzles. The article describes some tactics for accomplishing this goal.
Weber, Klaus. 2006. From Nuts and Bolts to Toolkits: On Theorizing with Mechanisms. Journal of Management Inquiry. 15(2): 119-123.