What is theory if theorizing is a game?

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Title: What is theory if theorizing is a game?
Authors: Kavanagh, Donncha
Scally, Kevin
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10289
Date: 7-Jul-2018
Online since: 2019-05-07T07:24:31Z
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore what we mean by theory, by looking at theory through a game lens. In comparing and contrasting the two phenomena of games and theory, we seek to better understand what theory is and is not, how theory is distinguished from theorizing, what constitutes a theoretical contribution, how theory and practice are linked, and the nature of academic work. The paper is structured as follows. We begin by discussing what is meant by a game, and, notwithstanding the difficulties of defining what constitutes a game, we outline four characteristics of games, and identify four basic roles in game activity. In the next section, we discuss the similarities between games and what is commonly understood as theory. We then proceed to describe how a game perspective can add to our understanding of theorizing. The paper’s final section then builds on this to consider the implications of thinking about theorizing as a form of game-playing. This exercise in comparing and contrasting theory leads, ultimately, to recognising the importance of phrónēsis in games, and its relatively marginal position (until recently) in theory and theorizing.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: European Group for Organization Studies
Keywords: TheoryGamesCharacteristics of games
Other versions: https://www.egosnet.org/2018_tallinn/general_theme
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: The 34th EGOS Colloqium, Tallin, Estonia, 5-7 July 2018
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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