Reflections on the so-called value-free ideal

Published on Feb 1, 2016
· DOI :10.1108/CCSM-08-2015-0101
Anne Tsui1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Mendoza College of Business)
Purpose – Value-free science is an ideal that is neither possible nor desirable, especially for social sciences. The subject of social sciences is individuals and groups; hence social, moral, ethical, or political values are inherent and unavoidable in all steps of the scientific process. Further, the authority of science requires the scientist to be responsible experts in ensuring the reliability of knowledge and in assessing the risks in applying the research findings in social policies and practices. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the role of values in business school research. Design/methodology/approach – The author explains the two primary types of values relevant for science: epistemic – norms and standards to ensure good science – and social – criteria not relevant for discovering the truth of knowledge but may influence decisions related to science especially in evaluating the cost of wrongful conclusions from the research evidence. Based on an analysis of published criticisms of busines...
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