From counting in management to counting on management : making social science research matter

Nair, Anup Karath (2015) From counting in management to counting on management : making social science research matter. In: BAM 2015: The 29th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management Conference, 2015-09-08 - 2015-09-10, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    We have an unwavering faith in research substantiated by numbers. In the popular imagination, quantitative methods are still seen as the most robust and reliable means to inform decision making. The hegemony exercised by mathematical reasoning is succinctly captured in the statement, "If it can’t be counted, then it doesn’t count!" In this paper, I'd like to explore the assumptions underpinning the 'knowledge claims' made by mathematically informed reasoning. By teasing out the reasoning processes through which quantitative analysis proceeds, I shall circumscribe the explanatory boundaries of the knowledge claims it can make. I then reflect on the knowledge contributions of techniques reliant on mathematical reasoning towards management and speculate on how the loose ends within such research programs can be strengthened.