Theory as ‘lens’?

Scholars often say they examine problems using a “lens”. Sometimes it’s a “theoretical lens”. Others use a “philosophical lens”. But most leave the metaphor they employ undiscussed, let alone defined. In this working paper, I examine that metaphor and detect four different meanings in two categories – lenses that help us see better and one that let us see differently. An updated version, including a couple of worked examples, appears now as “The lens of theory: Seeing better or differently?” in the International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior.

#theory #lens #research methods

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Donald Nordberg

Donald Nordberg - writer | academic | non-executive director